Cruise West ending operations today

September 17, 2010 

A small Seattle-based cruise line known for its Alaska cruises says it's ending operations today and canceling all but one of its scheduled cruises.

Cruise West said Friday in a statement that it has tried unsuccessfully for the past year to sell the company or attract investors. Chairman Dick West says he is "absolutely heartbroken."

The Federal Maritime Commission says passengers who paid by credit card or have third-party travel insurance should contact those companies. Those who paid by check can seek refunds for cruises that were to depart from U.S. ports under the terms of bonds that Cruise West was required to post.

The company says its only remaining excursion is a Sept. 22 Danube cruise.

Cruise West has offered small-ship cruises from Seattle to Alaska and along the Columbia and Snake rivers from Portland, Ore., as well as cruises to Mexico, Central America and beyond.

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