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Floating Festivals sinks into administration after axing Jane McDonald Sailaway cruise

Cruise charter company Floating Festivals has entered administration, leaving customers with future bookings potentially struggling to get refunds.

The company wasn’t ABTA or ATOL bonded, so while those who paid by credit or debit card are being advised to claim refunds from their cards, others might struggle to get their money back.

Floating Festivals had partnered with TV star Jane McDonald for her cancelled Sailaway with Jane McDonald Cruise, which had been due to take place last month on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jane revealed last week that the cruise, during which she was due to make special appearances, had been axed altogether. At the time she said: “I’m so sorry and upset about today’s awful announcement, which is that Floating Festivals have had to cancel all their cruises, including Sailaway With Jane McDonald.

“I’m devastated this has happened as I know you were all looking forward to it as much as I was. I know this is especially sad and frustrating because this year’s cruise had already been postponed because of Covid-19.

“Unfortunately it’s completely out of our control. This is as much information as they are able to give out just now.”

The company said it was forced to cancel its charters after failing to reach an agreement with Royal Caribbean. It has since announced it has gone into administration, with Richard Williamson and Christopher Brindle of Campbell Crossley & Davis appointed joint administrators.

A statement on the Floating Festivals website said: “On 20 August 2020 Floating Festivals Limited was placed into administration.

“Unfortunately, the company was not ABTA bonded. Customers who have paid for cruises by credit or debit card should contact their card provider in the first instance to enquire as to their eligibility for a refund.

“You will receive correspondence from the Administrators shortly. However, if you need to contact us you can email [email protected] or call 01253 349331 between 9am and 5pm. Please be aware that there may be a delay in answering calls.”


Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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  1. Be Ro says:

    What really hurts is the website FAQ previously said “Due to Floating Festivals chartering the ship and producing our own bespoke festival, it won’t be listed on the RCL website. However, all bookings are subject to its standard booking conditions available at Cruise bookings are ABTA bonded & ATOL protected.” (originally posted to…/before-you-book but no longer available)
    Now the company has gone bust, they are saying they are neither ABTA bonded nor ATOL protected.

  2. I cancelled the cruise on 1st May, before Floating Festivals / Royal Caribbean cancelled the 2020 cruises. Floating Festivals said they could not refund me until Royal Caribbean refunded them. However, Riyal Caribbean say that Floating Festivals hold the monies. Who is telling the truth and where has the money gone?

  3. Lizzie says:

    We booked 2 cabins for 8 people for this year Oct , we were told this years was cancelled due to covid but to keep paying and it would be transfered to 2021 … WELL LAST PAYMENT AUG UST AND THEN WHEN THEY HAVE YOUR MONEY OVER £600 EACH AT LEAST 3000 OF US THEY GO INTO LIQUIDATION …IT STINKS

  4. Alison says:

    When the Jane McDonald cruise was postponed in April due to COVID-19 I was given the option to transfer to a date in 2021 or to cancel.
    I opted for the latter and was told I was due a full refund of £4051 which I would duly receive….. but I never did and still haven’t?

  5. Jackie E says:

    I am sickened that we are struggling to get our hard earned money back! We save up for this holiday just for someone else to keep it! We opted for a refund at the beginning of June! 3 months later and still no sign, should you go back to the bank or travel insurance ..or both to try to get it back?!

    1. Linsey says:

      Hi Jackie, if you paid by card you could try your card issuer. Good luck.

  6. Graham Earle says:

    We tried to claim on travel insurance only to be told because floating festival is not the end of the line and only a travel agent can’t claim if it had been royal cc that had gone down could have got our money back

    1. Hi Graham,

      can you claim on your credit/debit card?

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