Tweet (12 p.m. EDT) -- Bad news for luxury cruisers: Regent Seven Seas Cruises has now canceled Seven Seas Voyager's October 17 cruise. On Monday, the ship suffered a pod propulsion malfunction in Athens, resulting in the cancelation of the October 3 Mediterranean cruise -- before it could even depart its embarkation port.
The extent of the damage is still unknown, according to Michael Hicks, a spokesman for the line. For now, however, Hicks tells us that the next cruise, a 10-night Eastern Mediterranean sailing set to depart from Athens on October 27, is still on schedule.
A company statement says Seven Seas Voyager "is presently alongside in Piraeus, Greece, until she enters dry dock for a full pod assessment and for repairs to get underway." On Monday, we were told that the ship was heading to Genoa for repairs on October 6.
Displaced passengers have two options. They can choose the obligatory full refund, in which case they'll also receive a $1,000 future cruise credit (to be used on a cruise in 2010 or 2011). If they have flexible schedules, they can also opt to switch to one of several different voyages -- many of which are longer and more exotic than the now-canceled October 3 and 17 voyages -- at the rate paid for the original cruise. A reduced Business Class air supplement may be applied for flights to/from Asia.
Passengers on the impacted cruises have until October 15 to make the swaps. If they haven't done so by October 18, they'll be automatically credited with the refund and future cruise credit. Here are the possible trades:
October 26: 21-night Bangkok to Sydney cruise on Seven Seas Navigator
November 8: 15-night Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale cruise on Seven Seas Voyager
November 8: 25-night Dubai to Cape Town cruise on Seven Seas Mariner
December 1: 20-night Auckland to San Francisco cruise on Seven Seas Navigator
December 3: 14-night Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro cruise on Seven Seas Mariner
December 27: 17-night Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco on Seven Seas Voyager
January 14: 25-night San Francisco to Auckland cruise on Seven Seas Voyager
February 23: 25-night Sydney to Beijing cruise on Seven Seas Voyager
April 9: 25-night Bangkok to Dubai cruise on Seven Seas Voyager
It's your turn: Would you take one of the trades or the full refund/future cruise credit? Sound off.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor
Pod Issues Stymie Second Seven Seas Voyager Cruise; Intriguing Trades Offered
October 6, 2010