Premier Cruise Lines
September 15, 2000
Federal Maritime Commission
Washington, D.C. 20573
PREMIER CRUISE LINES
CONTACT: SANDRA L. KUSUMOTO (202) 523-5787
FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER 15, 2000
It has been widely reported that Premier Cruise Operations Ltd. ( d/b/a Premier Cruises and Premier Cruise Lines), a passenger vessel operator offering cruises from the U.S., has suspended operations indefinitely. Reports are that all Premier Cruise Line ships will be sailing to Nassau or Halifax to disembark passengers, who then will be transported to their port of embarkation.
The Commission administers sections 2 and 3 of Public Law 89-777, 46 U.S.C. 817d and 817e, which are implemented by the Commission's regulations in 46 CFR part 540, Security for the Protection of the Public. Pub. L. 89-777 requires evidence of financial responsibility to indemnify passengers and other persons for death, injury or nonperformance of transportation for certain passenger-carrying vessels embarking passengers at U.S. ports.
Premier Cruises has a surety bond in place in the amount of $15 million to reimburse to the extent possible passengers who have already purchased fares for voyages which are being cancelled. The surety is underwritten by the Greenwich Insurance Company and the NAC Reinsurance Corporation. While the Commission stands ready to assist all claimants, please be advised that the Commission does not process claims or disburse funds - refunds must be obtained from Premier's surety. The surety company indicates that it is developing a claims process that will be used for passenger refunds. It is anticipated that the information for processing claims will be available sometime during the week of September 18. The Commission will issue a further press release containing this information. In addition, as we receive pertinent information, we will update our web site, www.fmc.gov.
In the meantime, for passengers who purchased their cruise by credit card, we suggest contacting the credit card company and providing them with this information. If passengers purchased private cruise insurance, they may want to contact their insurance company.
Premier Cruises reports that it also will be providing procedures for refunds covered by the surety bond in the near future. This information apparently can be obtained by calling the existing Premier telephone numbers.