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Cruise Ship Impounded for Unpaid Debts

Cruise ship Van Gough (and 460 passengers) detained in Madeira

460 passengers aboard the Van Gough have a few unexpected days to explore Madeira. The ship was due to leave this past Saturday, but port police impounded it early last week - it's still docked in Funchal.

Cruise, Baby, CruiseCruise, Baby, CruiseTravelscope, former operator, says the current operator (Cheltenham-based Van Gough Cruise Lines) owes money, wants their money. Apparently there are some unpaid debts between the two. To make matters worse, rumors that the crew has not been paid for 3 months are also circling.

Mark Horwood, Van Gogh Cruise Line managing director issued this statement: "Currently Club Cruise's lawyers are liaising with the authorities in an effort to prevent further delay by allowing this matter to be handled on return to Falmouth, to minimize further distress to our passengers. However the administrators have so far refused to allow this."

But Travelscope administrator, Paul Clark, says they had no choice. "We sincerely regret the inconvenience to passengers currently onboard the MV Van Gogh caused by Travelscope's detention of the vessel in Madeira. We have pursued this course of action in order to protect a valuable asset of the company for the benefit of the company's creditors, being a substantial claim against Club Cruise."

Doesn't sound like anyone is concerned about the current passengers' extended stay in Madeira. They are free to leave the ship, but have no way to get home.

Anyone willing to bet they won't be offered a rebate or future upgrade for their troubles?

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