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It sounded like a travel lover’s dream: a three year cruise, looping the globe in search of an eternal summer, for what appeared to be a relatively affordable price.
When Life at Sea Cruises announced its 36-month voyage in March, with cabins starting at $29,999 per person per year for an all inclusive lifestyle, many people rushed to book.
But that dream appeared to morph into a nightmare in May, when the wheels came off, with part of the team quitting the company in what appeared to be a disagreement about the ship itself, and passengers pulling out of the enterprise.
Now, however, the project appears to be back on, with a bigger ship confirmed for those three years of exploration. The launch date is still set for November 1, 2023.
Life at Sea Cruises is now owned and operated entirely by Miray Cruises, a company with a 30-year history of operating in the Aegean. Miray was the cruise partner involved from the start.
It was Miray’s ship, the MV Gemini, that had been earmarked as the vessel to be used for the cruise back in March – something that became central to the breakdown in relationships between Miray and members of the former Life at Sea executive team.
Around 22 members of the team including the MD, chief technology officer and director of sales and marketing “stepped away” from the project, Mikael Petterson, the former MD, told CNN at the time. The sales and marketing director, Irina Strembitsky, went further, alleging that the ship was deemed “unseaworthy” by an engineer, who also expressed doubt that it would be able to complete a three year journey – an allegation now at the heart of a defamation case brought by Miray.
All 22 leavers, say Petterson, are now working on a rival project: Villa Vie Residences – which, according to the website, will be a “world cruise… circumnavigating the globe every three and a half years.”
Villa Vie is holding webinars for potential clients but has not yet identified a ship, or shared potential pricing. Petterson told CNN his team hope to take bookings from August.