The highly anticipated three-year world tour promised by Life at Sea Cruises recently took a drastic turn, leaving eager passengers, including those who made significant life changes, in disappointment and uncertainty.
Among the affected individuals is Keri Witman, the founder and president of Clever Lucy, a digital marketing agency in Cincinnati. Witman had made substantial life adjustments, such as selling her home and moving into a short-term rental, to embark on the global journey. Her plans included working remotely while traversing 148 countries and hundreds of ports.
The cruise, heavily promoted and initially scheduled to depart from Istanbul on November 1, faced a series of setbacks. It was postponed twice, with Amsterdam as the new point of departure, and then eventually canceled on November 17. Signs of trouble arose when the vessel that Life at Sea had intended to purchase was acquired by another company. Miray Cruises, the owner of Life at Sea, reportedly couldn’t secure another ship due to financial constraints.
Passengers, who had invested significant sums, were informed that they would receive refunds in installments. The initial installment and deposit paid by Witman amounted to $32,000 for a trip that advertised starting prices at $38,500 per person per year.
Vedat Ugurlu, the owner of Miray, expressed deep apologies for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation. In response to the unexpected turn of events, Witman remains optimistic, expressing gratitude for the connections made during the planning phase of the cruise. She has shared her hopefulness about potentially joining a long-term residential cruise in 2024 and emphasized collaboration with her fellow disappointed passengers on a collective “Plan B.”
The abrupt cancellation serves as a reminder of the risks associated with ambitious and long-term travel plans, with affected passengers now left to navigate the aftermath of shattered dreams and altered life paths.