Cruise Line Cancels Asia Winter Season

May 7, 2013

(2:45 p.m. EDT) -- Voyages to Antiquity said poor weather conditions were to blame for the line's cancellation of its entire schedule of Asia cruises in late 2013 and early 2014.

The relatively young, single-ship, destination-centric cruise line expanded its itineraries to include Asia cruises for the first time in 2012, but a winter of heavy seas and strong storms in the South China Sea has caused the line to pull out of the region for a year while it reworks itineraries for the 2014-2015 season.

"We had 6-8 weeks of abnormally bad weather in the South China Sea," said a Voyages to Antiquity spokesperson, "and because of that we were not delivering the level of service we wanted for our guests."

Voyages to Antiquity did not discuss the financial implications of the cancellations, but said the weather that its ship Aegean Odyssey encountered over the winter cost "a significant amount of money and resulted in a number of passenger complaints."

The line said it was forced to scrap its itineraries rather than adjust them because of time pressures: "Everything is booked at least 12 months in advance. We had no option but to cancel them."

Passengers will be able to rebook cruises for the 2014-2015 season when new itineraries are announced. Alternatively, the line said it would refund deposits.

It will be six to eight weeks before Voyages to Antiquity finalizes the schedule for Aegean Odyssey's 2014-2015 Asian itineraries. The line said Burma would likely remain on the ship's itineraries -- as would Vietnam and Cambodia -- with sailings southward from Vietnam and Hong Kong likely to be removed.

Aegean Odyssey will remain docked in the Athens port of Piraeus from late November 2013 until March 2014.

--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor