Norwegian cruise ship and floating hotel cancelled for Olympics
Published Tuesday, February 2, 2010 6:43PM EST
The company that had planned to bring a Norwegian cruise ship to Vancouver as a "floating hotel" for the Olympics issued a statement late Tuesday saying that the trip is cancelled.statement late Tuesday saying that the trip is cancelled.
"It is with regret that Newwest Special Projects LP is announcing the cancellation of its charter of the Norwegian Star," the statement read.
"We sincerely apologize to the guests who have booked with us for this inconvenience. Newwest will be issuing refunds."
The cancellation includes the pre-cruise scheduled for Feb. 6 to 10 from Los Angeles to Vancouver and the post-cruise scheduled for March 2 to 6 from Vancouver to Los Angeles.
But slow sales and higher-than-expected expenses forced the cancellations, the company said.
Edmontonian Jason Konoza is planning on attending the Olympics in Vancouver. He says he has his plane trip booked, and tickets to three different Olympic events but now has no place to stay. "I have no place to stay if the cruise ship doesn't work out," he said.
Just a few months ago, the company behind the accommodations -- Newwest Special Projects -- was trying to boost sales by promoting what it called the largest hotel at the Games.
The president of Newwest Dennis Laliberte was promoting that the ship was going to be docked on the North Shore of Vancouver by the Lions Gate Bridge.
But since the unveiling in May, prices have been cut from $1,300 per night to just $275.
Konoza is looking for any way to salvage his plans. "There could be thousands of people with no where to stay and they're going to be fighting for what's left of hotel rooms in Vancouver," he said.
Newwest travel representatives say they are at least hoping to have alternate accommodation options for travellers.
Travelers left in the lurch are asked to call Newwest Travel at (780) 432-7446 or 1-800-661-7281
With files from Dez Melenka and ctvbc.ca