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Windjammer Barefoot Cruises loses the wind in its sails

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On October - 1 - 2007

Windjammer Barefoot CruisesUpdate: As of 10:00 PM EST Windjammer’s Website is no longer available.

The following message was sent to all travel agents from the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)

“Windjammer Barefoot Cruises announced on a message through its phone reservation line that it has cancelled all cruises scheduled to sail the week of Sept. 29, 2007 for the Legacy, Polynesia and Yankee Clipper. Windjammer has not announced a refund policy regarding the cancelled sailings and has not responded to ASTA’s attempts to obtain more information.

Although Windjammer has not announced that it will file for bankruptcy protection, customers who made payments for a cancelled Windjammer cruise by credit card should immediately contact their credit card company to dispute the charge. Under the Fair-Credit Billing Act, cardholders have 60 days from the time they receive the billing statement on which a charge first appears to refuse payment for services not rendered. Instructions for doing so appear on the back of all credit card statements. Even if a customer has already paid the charge, or if the 60-day window noted above has passed, it is still advisable to request a credit for the charge. Get more information on the Fair-Credit Billing Act online.

According to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Windjammer Cruises is not required to participate in a financial security program because the line conducts no cruises from U.S. ports. The FMC bond and escrow programs are designed to protect consumer funds in the case of non-delivered cruise services. However, the programs only apply to cruises that embark from a U.S. port.

Customers who purchased trip cancellation insurance should check with the insurance carrier to determine whether the coverage would apply in the event of supplier default, and specifically to Windjammer. Get more information on cruise line defaults online.”

ExpertCruiser tried to contact Windjammer last week; however, all phone calls and e-mails went unreturned.

We reported on August 21 that the line was having financial difficulties.

Windjammer operates the tall ships Legacy, Mandalay, Yankee Clipper and Polynesia. The family-owned company was founded in 1947 by Capt. Mike Burke. In March his son Daniel, the president of Windjammer, was found dead in a Miami hotel.

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