After two of its vessels were pulled by the ships’ Russian owners earlier this year, Canada’s One Ocean Expeditions is in a “difficult period of restructuring” as it goes through an “extremely challenging period of time,” according to Managing Director Andrew Prossin.
“The withdrawal of these ships was an unexpected and destabilizing event,” Prossin wrote in a post on One Ocean Expeditions’ Facebook page. The two ships, Akademik Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov, were chartered by One Ocean Expeditions through a deal with Russia’s Academy of Sciences’ PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.
According to One Ocean Expeditions, both ships were the victims of a “sudden withdrawal” by their Russian owners, which has resulted in ongoing legal action by One Ocean Expeditions.
The withdrawal has left guests and travel advisors in the dark as sailings are canceled, including one to Antarctica that left up to 140 guests stranded in Argentina last month, according to the CBC, and another that was supposed to host a team of students from a West Vancouver Secondary School.
Guests and advisors with sailings booked in the future have written on social media that the company still hasn’t informed them of the status of their sailings or whether or not they will be refunded for canceled sailings.
The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, the organization of more than 100 member companies that is “dedicated to facilitating appropriate, safe and environmentally sound private-sector travel to the Antarctic,” has reportedly suspended One Ocean Expeditions’ membership in the organization after non-payment of its dues and fees on Nov. 1. One Ocean Expeditions had been a member of the Association for more than a decade.
One Ocean Expeditions did not respond to comment as requested from Travel Market Report by press time.