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Cruise ships in the Caribbean (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Cruise ships in the Caribbean (Photo: Cruise Critic)

What To Do If Your U.K. Cruise Travel Agent or Operator Goes Bust?

Cruise ships in the Caribbean (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Cruise ships in the Caribbean (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Adam Coulter
U.K. Executive Editor

The recent collapse of Ahoy Cruises, part of Pan Business Travel, was another example of the dire trading conditions facing many travel companies in the COVID-19 environment.

Many cruisers have been left high-and-dry wondering how to get their money back after the parent company, Pan Business Travel went into administration on July 1.

The good news is that in most instances when an agency -- or in Ahoy's case, an operator -- goes bust, there is a very clear set of steps to follow to get your money back.

Who Booked Your Cruise?

Britannia (Photo: P&O Cruises)
Britannia (Photo: P&O Cruises)

The first thing to establish is whether you booked your cruise through a cruise specialist travel agency or an operator.

Put simply, if you booked through a travel agency, your cruise holiday is still going ahead. If you booked through an operator, however, your holiday is cancelled.

If You Booked With a Cruise Specialist Travel Agent

Girl using a digital generated phone with travel agency website on screen. All screen graphics are made up.
Woman using a travel agency site (Photo: McLittle Stock/Shutterstock.com)

If your travel agency goes bust, first contact the cruise line you're traveling on to ensure they have your booking on record

Then you need to contact ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents). If the agency is an ABTA member, you may be able to make a financial claim

via the ABTA website


If You Booked With a Tour Operator

Woman on laptop (Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock)
Woman on laptop (Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock)

All companies selling package holidays must offer protection to prevent you losing money and to help you sort out any practical problems, should they or the airline you're flying with go bust.

A tour operator will put together a package -- flights, hotel, cruise -- and will lodge a bond with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), known as an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence).

Your invoice from the tour operator will show that you are ATOL-protected. This is an important document. Keep it safe and take it with you in case you need to prove that you're covered.

Under the ATOL coverage, if a firm goes out of business, your booking will be refunded. If it happens when you are abroad, you will be able to finish your holiday and fly home.

*For more details visit

<a href="https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/your-rights-if-airline-or-travel-company-goes-bust" target="blank" rel=

"nofollow">nidirect government services.*

Updated July 13, 2020

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