Report: Embattled cruise operator Vantage is selling the company

Vantage Deluxe World Travel, a river and ocean cruise company that has canceled several cruises and left guests waiting long periods of time for refunds, said it is negotiating the sale of the company, reports the Boston Globe.

“At this time, Vantage Deluxe World Travel is engaged in sensitive negotiations for a sale of the company,” Vantage general counsel Rossella Mercuri told the Globe in an email. 

The newspaper had been seeking confirmation of the authenticity of an internal memo sent to Vantage employees on June 1 announcing the company had postponed sailings over the next 90 days due to a “pending transaction.” 

Vantage is still taking reservations, according to a Vantage agent who answered the reservation line on Tuesday. The agent said Vantage was still selling cruises but not departures that would take place over the next “three or four months.”

Travel Weekly spoke with several travel advisors who said they had not done business with Vantage in some time, if at all. said there was no record of one of its advisors booking with the cruise line in 2023. Cruise Planners said it was not familiar with the company and do not believe their agents are working with Vantage. 

The Massachusetts attorney general’s office has received at least 793 consumer complaints against Vantage since Jan. 1, 2020, according to an office spokesman. Of those complaints, 156 were filed this year. Many of the complaints came from consumers outside of Massachusetts, the spokesman said. The office is helping Massachusetts consumers seeking refunds from canceled trips, of which there were 70. 

The office of the attorney general is reviewing consumer complaints and has been in contact with Vantage but could not provide additional details at this time. 

Vantage earlier this year was promoting expedition and small-ship itineraries for 2023 and 2024, including cruises to Antarctica and the line’s first journeys to South America. 

Vantage was founded as a river cruise operator in 1983. It has long focused on direct-to-consumer business. As the line announced plans in 2019 to build ocean expedition ships, the line said it wanted to market and sell its ocean product through travel advisors.

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