Thursday, April 16, 2009

Windstar's Sails May Be Luffing Very Soon.

It was reported today that Ambassadors International, the parent company of Windstar's owner, Ambassadors International Cruise Group, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ambassadors Cruise Group, LLC, missed a $1,800,000 interest payment on the notes (loan) it used to purchase Windstar. 

Ambassador warned that if it cannot sell its non-Windstar assets it may fail as a going concern.While it states that the tight credit market has made finding viable purchasers of these assets difficult, one must note that fire-saleing assets to keep one asset afloat (so to speak) is not a good sign regardless. It has disclosed that bankruptcy may be in its future if the sale of assets, restructuring of debt, etc. is not put in place.  Ambassadors stock, it is reported, was trading at $0.39, far below the $1.00 level required to maintain the stock being listed on NASDAQ.

If you are booked on a Windstar cruise I would be sure that you have paid with a credit card.  If you have not and are not in a penalty period, I would strongly suggest that you cancel your cruise and, if still wanting to take a chance, rebook with a credit card.  Also, if you do not have insurance nd you paid with cash, strongly consider it, but be sure that you will have coverage in the event Windstar ceases operation.  Right now I do not see any exclusion, but that sort of information can change quickly. 

Windstar has been a favorite for those seeking a unique upscale cruise experience.  The cruise line was sort of the step-child when it was owned by Carnival Corp. and was kept under the Holland America wing.  In 2007 Carnival Corp. sold the company to its present owners.