SeaDream blames Olympics for cancellation of UK sailings

SeaDream blames Olympics for cancellation of UK sailings

SeaDream Yacht Club has cancelled its 2012 Northern Europe season, which included debut cruises from the UK blaming its failure to secure a charter for the 2012 Olympics.

The cruise line was due to operate two turnarounds in Dover either end of a season cruising the Baltic and Norwegian fjords. Instead, their ship, SeaDream II, will be sailing in the Mediterranean.

President Bob Lepisto said being unable to secure a charter for the ship during the 2012 London Olympics was a key factor in their decision, plus they have more charter and group demand for the Mediterranean than they can satisfy with one ship.

Berthing fees for the London Olympics are known to have sky-rocketed making it uncommercial for lines to base ships in the Thames as had been hoped. Azamara Club cruises had been expecting to reveal earlier in the year that one of its two ships would be coming to London for the Games, but to date no announcement has been made.

The only cruise ship due in London is the German MS Deutchland that is operated by Peter Deilmann and will be used as a “floating hotel” berthed in West India Docks and charging £4,336 per person for three nights.

Lepisto said: “We will now have two new Black Sea itineraries, as well as multiple Croatia and Greek Isles cruises. A change in the Greek cabotage law, which means we can now sail roundtrip cruises from Athens, opens up great opportunities.”

SeaDream is trying to find passengers booked on the cancelled cruises space on one of this year’s Northern Europe cruises, or another 2012 itinerary.

The line is operating in Baltic and Norwegian fjords cruises for the first time this year. It brought SeaDream I to London Bridge in May, before the season started, so agents could see the ship for the first time.

Lepisto didn’t rule out a return to the fjords, Baltic and the UK. He said: “I am confident at some time in the future we will be back in the region.”


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