One Ocean Cancels Expedition, Announces ‘Restructuring’

This is literally just in: The Squamish Chief reported yesterday that One Ocean Expeditions, the niche cruise line founded by Cape Breton native Andrew Prossin — the one that was supposed to be making Sydney its home port — is “restructuring.”

The information came from an October 29th post on OOE’s Facebook page (along with a caption reading, “Please note that this Facebook page is not currently being monitored). You can click on the image to enlarge it:

Source: Facebook. CLICK TO ENLARGE


The Spectator explored the ins and outs of those Russian leased ships in an earlier story, but in a nutshell, the company that leased them to OOE, Cyprus-based Terragelida, said they’d been withdrawn due to non-payment of debts.

The Chief — the local newspaper in Squamish, B.C. where OOE “has a location” — was unable to reach anyone at the cruise line for comment:

The media contact for One Oceans Expeditions was unavailable. The doors to the Second Avenue office were locked and the office was dark on Tuesday afternoon.

The statement did not include information about passenger bookings, refunds or impacts to staff members.

The Chief has talked to at least one tour operator in the U.K. who has a group scheduled to go out with the company this weekend. They are in limbo waiting to hear if there will be a voyage at all, the operator said.

The Chief has reached out through multiple channels connected to the company and will update this story if we get more information.

The CBC’s Andrea Ross, a reporter based in Vancouver, picked up the story on Wednesday, speaking to a Newfoundland bartender who is owed USD $6,400 by OOE more than six months after completing her contract with the company.

Ross reports that:

On Thursday, One Ocean Expeditions cancelled a bird-watching cruise to Antarctica, leaving up to 140 guests stranded in Argentina, including Gill Havard who booked the 19-day trip with dreams of sailing alongside albatrosses, Atlantic petrels and chinstrap penguins.



As it happens, on Monday, the Spectator received an email from Devin Gattey, MD of Portland, Oregon, who emailed to say that he and his family were on the cruise that was cancelled. Gattey said they had booked a 19-day tour of the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula that was to start in Ushuaia, Argentina on 19 October 2019 (it would end in the same port). Gattey wrote:

One Ocean Expeditions seems to be in deep financial trouble yet they are accepting customer payments and falsely representing themselves as being prepared to continue with business as usual.

He then provided a detailed timeline for what actually happened on last week’s cruise:

RCGS Resolute in Aberdeen, Scotland. 11 June 2019. (Photo by Rab,Driver of P300NJB @Grampian Continental.. CC BY 2.0 

10/17/19 at noon Pacific Daylight Time we received an email from booking agent Rockjumper Birding Tours (RBT) with a letter from OOE attached indicating that there had been a medical emergency aboard the Resolute and that they were delayed. They were asking that we embark on the journey on 10/19/19 as planned but from Buenos Aires instead of Ushuaia.

10/18/19 Meetings were held in the evening to explain to passengers already in Buenos Aires and to those still in Ushuaia about the reason for the delay. We were told a crew member had severe bleeding and needed to be rescued off of the ship for emergency surgery. This delayed their refueling window in Rio de Janeiro so they decided to head to Buenos Aires and start the trip from there.

10/19/19 For those passengers who had already arrived in Ushuaia, a charter flight was arranged to fly them back to Buenos Aires in the early morning. Day rooms were arranged for passengers at the Sheraton and all passengers met there for transport to the ship. The RCGS Resolute sailed at approximately 19:30 Atlantic Daylight Time.

10/20/19 Sailing south

10/21/19 Sailing south, notified by crew that we were going to stop for fuel in Puerto Madryn.

10/22/19 Arrived in Puerto Madryn early morning. Activities planned for the day while the ship was receiving fuel – birding by foot in the AM and birding by bus in the PM with a trip to Sea Lion colony. Upon return to the ship we were told by crew that there was some problem getting fuel and they had only emptied the bilge water. Fuel would arrive the next day.

10/23/19 Told by crew there was some problem with the fuel broker and that we should have it sorted out by the end of the day. Supposedly, 2 tankers delivered fuel to the ship but we needed 2 more in order to make it safely to the Falklands. These messages were delivered by the OOE expedition leader Kaylan Worsnop. During the day, a bus tour to Trelew was arranged for birdwatching.

10/24/19 Told by the crew that OOE staff in British Col[u]mbia were working hard to source the other 2 fuel tankers but none had arrived by noon. Attempts were reportedly made by OOE crew and by RBT crew to broker a fuel deal. OOE crew arranged for late afternoon whale watching and penguin colony visit which were to be paid for by the passengers in cash. Some cash was collected for these excursions but around 13:30 crew members asked all passengers to remain on the ship. A meeting was called for all passengers and it was explained to us that no fuel could be sourced and that OOE had decided to cancel the trip. The new plan was to return the Resolute to Buenos Aires. If anyone wished to disembark at this point, they were told  they had 60 minutes to pack and leave the ship. Within 15 minutes, the ship was pulling away from the dock without further warning. We were later informed that one passenger had elected to disembark from the cruise earlier that day. In the evening, a letter was given to those passengers who had booked with RBT from the RBT staff. A letter from OOE was promised within the hour but did not arrive until the next day.

10/25/19 Sailing north. A letter from OOE arrived offering a free trip of supposedly the same caliber. Verbally, Ms. Worsnop told us there would be no cash refunds provided and that the replacement trip needed to be taken within 2 years. RBT staff offered to create alternative tours that would start as soon as we disembarked on morning of 10/27/19. They asked that passengers pay for the airfare, but that RBT would pay for the lodging, food, ground transportation, and guides. 5 tours were offered in Brazil and Argentina, and RBT staff worked tirelessly all day to sign people up for these tours.

10/26/19 Sailing north. Final arrangements for the RBT tours were made.

10/27/19 Arrival at 06:50 in Buenos Aires with shuttle service to Sheraton Hotel or either of the 2 airports having been arranged for by OOE crew. No hotel accommodation in Buenos Aires would be paid for. All passengers disembarked without incident.

Gattey is still in Brazil, but we have an appointment to speak tomorrow. I have emailed One Oceans for comment and will update when (and if) I hear from them.