'Personally saddened': Maritime Museum cancels fundraiser as expedition company hits troubled waters
Museum set to refund raffle tickets sold for grand prize draw of One Ocean Expedition trip
The Vancouver Maritime Museum says it will be refunding tickets for its popular annual fundraising raffle, following yet another sailing cancellation by B.C.-based adventure cruise company One Ocean Expedition.
According to a statement issued Friday, museum officials said due to recent uncertainty surrounding the company's ability to deliver the grand prize of a Chilean fyords expedition, all raffle ticket sales have been stopped, and the museum will be contacting ticket buyers to issue refunds in the weeks to come.
"I am personally saddened by this turn of events," said executive director Dr. Joost Schokkenbroek.
"One Ocean has been a wonderful partner, and they have struggled this year."
One of many problems
One Ocean Expeditions managing director Andrew Prossin sent a letter to clients Dec. 12, informing them of another Dec. 21 Antarctic trip cancellation due to "efforts at restructuring" the business.
Once restructuring was done, the company wrote it would be in touch about "any compensation possibilities", but guests were encouraged to contact their insurance providers.
On Oct. 24, the company cancelled a bird-watching cruise to Antarctica, leaving up to 140 guests stranded in Argentina.
This summer, one of three ships was damaged in 2018 after running aground. Then, two ships were recalled by their Russian owners this summer.
One Ocean's remaining ship, RCGS Resolute, was arrested in Nunavut in May for $100,000 owed to a Nova Scotia-based company and was arrested again in Halifax in September.
Staff has also alleged the company had not paid wages, six months after contracts were completed.
"It is difficult to imagine how a relatively small company could survive these incidents. We are sorry to see our friends at OOE face this crisis," said Schokkenbroek.
For now, the museum is asking anyone affected by the fundraiser cancellation to email firstname.lastname@example.org.