Blocked By Ice

Our goal : 100% reimbursement of the price paid IN ADDITION TO compensation for thwarted dreams

Update 19.10.2018

A lot has happened since the last Update.

Questionnaire

Firstly, we have had a very good response to the questionnaire to which most people have responded.  We are evaluating the results to support our claim against Hurtigruten.

However there are still some people who have not completed the questionnaire and they really need to do so.  We are acting for everyone, but when we negotiate with Hurtigruten, we can only speak on behalf of passengers who have given us the required information.

To complete the Questionnaire

Click HERE

It is not too late !

Complaints

We have received a huge number of copies of complaints sent to Hurtigruten and Travel Agents by passengers. Thank you to everyone who has.

Hurtigruten have advised several people that they would make a revised offer this week, but we have heard nothing yet.  But what is becoming clear to us is that if you have not made a written complaint, you may not even have received the 20% offer.  There are many people who have not received that offer.

So, once again, another word of warning :  If you have not sent a written complaint to Hurtigruten or your Travel Agent, it is likely that you may not be offered any compensation by Hurtigruten !  So write to them quickly before it is too late.

We have been advised already of three cases where passengers have instructed lawyers to pursue a claim against Hurtigruten.

The Legal Position

The law in each country is of course different.  But if you are in the EU, then the compensation to which you are entitled should be the same, no matter where you live. The main legal provision is contained in “European Union Directive 90/314/EEC on package travel, package holidays and package tours” which was implemented throughout the EU in 1992. It has since been replaced in July 2018, but we are all covered by the 1992 terms, from which it is abundantly clear that we are all entitled to full reimbursement plus compensation. If you would like to know more, you can find the Directive by clicking here:

 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31990L0314:en:HTML

For instance, it reads :

1.   Any descriptive matter … must not contain any misleading information.

2.  … A brochure shall indicate in a legible, comprehensible and accurate manner …. adequate information concerning:

(d) the itinerary

5.   If the organizer finds that before the departure he is constrained to alter significantly any of the essential terms …  he shall notify the consumer as quickly as possible in order to enable him to take appropriate decisions and in particular … to withdraw from the contract without penalty.

6.   If the consumer withdraws from the contract pursuant to paragraph 5, or if, for whatever cause …, the organizer cancels the package before the agreed date of departure, the consumer shall be entitled:

 (b) or to be repaid as soon as possible all sums paid by him under the contract.

In such a case, he shall be entitled, if appropriate, to be compensated by either the organizer or the retailer … for non-performance of the contract.

7.   Where, after departure, a significant proportion of the services contracted for is not provided, … the organizer shall make suitable alternative arrangements, at no extra cost to the consumer.

If … these are not accepted by the consumer for good reasons, the organizer shall, where appropriate, provide the consumer, at no extra cost, with equivalent transport back to the place of departure, or to another return-point to which the consumer has agreed and shall, where appropriate, compensate the consumer.

Insurance Legal Costs for Holiday Contract Disputes

As a result of the Questionnaire, we are now aware of many people who have legal insurance.  In the UK, the insurance company is the same in each case, and we are in discussion with them about consolidating the insurance claims, which will produce a very large legal fund.

Hurtigruten is still advertising the North West Passage for 2019

To our astonishment, we see that Hurtigruten is still advertising the 2019 North West Passage cruise without making any changes as a result of this year’s experience, or adding any disclaimers.  In our opinion this is grossly negligent, and if the claims go to Court, we will cite this as an example of the Hurtigruten’s cavalier attitude to the ice risks involved.  It should be remembered that in 2018, no cruise ships whatsoever managed to navigate the North West Passage due to ice, and since 2016, only 6 cruise ships have achieved the journey, in each case escorted by Ice Breakers, and sometimes requiring two Ice Breakers !

Finally, we have sent the following letter to Hurtigruten UK :

Blocked By Ice

Our goal : 100% reimbursement of the price paid IN ADDITION TO compensation for thwarted dreams

Email :   fram@blockedbyice.com

Anthony Daniels

UK General Manager

Hurtigruten Ltd.

Bedford House

69-79 Fulham High St.

London SW6 3JW

 

18th October 2018

 

 

Dear Mr. Daniels

 

Aborted North West Passage Cruise by Fram August and September 2018

 

We wish to congratulate you on your promotion as U.K. General Manager.

 

We are Blocked By Ice, the passenger action group formed to seek just compensation for the aborted cruises by Fram in August and September. You will no doubt already know that we speak for the majority of the passengers on the failed East bound voyage “In The Footsteps Of The Great Explorers”. We also speak for a growing number of the passengers on the West bound voyage.

 

It is not necessary in this letter to detail how badly we and our members have been treated, before departure, during the voyage, since we disembarked and continuing.  These are all set out in the many communications by passengers with your company, which are in our possession.

 

Your company trades on reputation. Most of our members have cruised with  Hurtigruten before. As things stand they are very unlikely to do so again.

 

In common with Mr Gerald Ratner, you will know that reputational damage destroys sales. We do not wish to damage the reputation of your company, but on the contrary, we have to date urged our members not to resort to social media at this juncture, a gesture which we hope you will recognise.  Nevertheless, such will be the inevitable outcome of the legal actions now in course of preparation, and of the social media storm which will undoubtedly ensue.

 

You should be aware that many of our members are insured for legal expenses for holiday contract disputes, and we are discussing with our insurers pooling resources to mount Group legal proceedings against Hurtigruten and your partners.

 

We invite you to meet us to discuss settlement. The meeting will be cards on the table, without prejudice and without legal representation.  In view of the fact that we represent passengers from all over Europe, and indeed North America and Australia, it would be appropriate for you to consider including your Vice President of Europe, Mr. Heiko Jensen.

 

This letter is written in good faith to avoid legal confrontation.  We are aware that Hurtigruten has announced that a revised offer was supposed to be made yesterday, but unless it meets the objectives of 100% reimbursement plus compensation (to which we are entitled under European Union Directive 90/314/EEC on package travel, package holidays and package tours), it will be rejected by the passengers we represent.

 

In furtherance of the Common Objective of the Civil Procedure Rules, a Court will sanction a party that refuses to actively engage in dialogue.  If you refuse this reasonable request, it will be brought to the attention of the Court during proceedings.

 

We require your acceptance and three suggested dates by Monday 22nd. October

 

Yours sincerely

 

Nicholas Sherman, Gareth Johns, Keith Hanson, Patrick

Executive Committee

Blocked By Ice

 

www.blockedbyice.com