West Travel, Inc., doing business as the cruise line Cruise West, has notified the Federal Maritime Commission that it is cancelling all cruises that were scheduled to begin this Saturday, September 18, and on all dates that follow. It will complete cruises of the Spirit of 98 and Spirit of Endeavour that are already underway and are scheduled to end in Portland and Seattle this Saturday, September 18.

Cruise West advised the Commission that as of September 1, 2010, it had stopped accepting new bookings and payments, and on September 8, 2010, it terminated its "Voyage of the Great Explorers" on the Spirit of Oceanus in Newfoundland, Canada. Until today's announcement, Cruise West had previously intended to complete its 2010 sailing schedule. Cruise West may provide additional updated information on its website at www.cruisewest.com. Commission regulations, Cruise West maintains surety bonds to provide passengers with refunds for cancelled cruises that were scheduled to board passengers from U.S. ports. Prior experience, however, has shown that third-party insurers and credit card issuers may provide speedier reimbursement to passengers than the claims process established for bonds issued under Commission regulations.

Passengers who paid for transportation by credit card should immediately contact their credit card issuer. The Federal Trade Commission issues information regarding consumer rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act. For that information, please see the Federal Trade Commission website at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre16.shtm. who purchased any third-party travel insurance should also immediately contact their insurer to claim reimbursement under their insurance policy if it covers such cancellations.

Cruise West's Commission-required surety bonds are underwritten by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, Westchester Fire Insurance Company, and Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland. These bonds will apply to all applicable passenger fares and deposits for Cruise West vessels that were scheduled to board passengers from U.S. ports. These bonds do not, however, provide reimbursement for payments for air travel, shore-side hotel expenses, or other expenses that do not constitute water transportation or its related services.