Victoria Cruises Line, a new residential cruise line concept that promised to sail from Port Everglades on Dec. 1, has delayed its start up again, blaming competition, its public relations agency and “misbookings,” being guests that contacted the line by phone or email and showed interest, but never booked.
In addition were cancellations, dropping occupancy to just 63 percent, said “Marco Benigni, operations manager,” in a letter sent to booked guests on Sunday morning, Oct. 1. See a copy of the letter here.
Cruise Industry News could not confirm Benigni’s position at the company.
Meanwhile, Victoria continues to solicit $10,000 deposits from mainly Americans who are mostly retired. The company asks guests to wire the money to a bank account in Budapest, Hungary.
The company’s sales head, Gabor Nagy-Ferenc, declined to be interviewed on the phone. Nagy-Ferenc’s LinkedIn lists him as the country sales manager in Hungary for Emtelle, a company specializing in manufacturing fiber-optic cables.
Multiple phone calls to Victoria went unanswered; the company has no voicemail or direct extensions and mostly uses generic email addresses.
Potential start-up dates have been pushed back, going from May 1 to Sept. 1 to Dec. 1 as the company has said it needs 80 percent occupancy to start sailing.
With Dec. 1 nearing, another delay was feared by booked guests and confirmed on Oct. 1.
Those passengers are now hoping for more customer deposits driven by a new PR campaign to help ensure a future sailing date.
Cruise Industry News has been following up on this story due to the high number of concerned booked guests and potential guests that have continued to reach out.