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November 25, 2014 8:29 am

Christian Company Cancels Cruise to Turkey, Israel Due to ‘Political Instability’ in Region, Customers Lose £2,500

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The LivingSun Holidays cruise was going to take travelers to iconic religious landmarks, including Istanbul's Hagia Sophia. Photo: Roweromaniak via Wikimedia Commons.

A Christian tour company that sold a pre-Christmas cruise to Turkey, Greece and Israel cancelled the trip 10 days before its Oct. 13 departure claiming “political instability” in the region, the Daily Mail reported on Friday.

LivingSun Holidays company director Bob Fleming said the 10-day tour to iconic religious sites was booked through Thomson Cruises, who had yet to refund customers for the £2,490 they paid. However, Thomson Cruises claims they have no deal with the London-based Christian firm.

“Thomson Cruises is extremely concerned that LivingSun Holidays has been engaging in promotional activities using the Thomson Cruises trademark, as no permission has been granted for this use,” the cruise line said in a statement. “Thomson Cruises does not have, and has never had, any association with LivingSun Holidays and no booking for this cruise was passed to us by LivingSun Holidays.”

Fleming said in response that LivingSun Holidays took a group to Israel with Thomson Cruises in April, the Daily Mail reported. He added, “I should be sorry if they have forgotten about us so soon.”

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LivingSun Holidays’ website promises “excellent Christian holidays for people to enjoy God’s creation together” and “with no disruption from noisy non-Christian neighbours.” Gospatric Home, 81, who was planning on enjoying the trip with his wife Diana, is still waiting for his refund. He told a local newspaper, “It is a crazy saga. The money we all paid was not held in an escrow account. If it had been, then he could have repaid it all to everyone.”

Fleming sent a letter to customers saying that while LivingSun wants to refund the customers, it does not have the funds to do so. He said the company aims to pay “about 18 people a total of £20,000” by the end of November.

“The cancellation of the cruise has left us in a difficult financial situation,” he said. “We have considerable costs which are irrecoverable for us and while we fully accept this is our problem to resolve, it means we simply do not have enough cash at the moment to start the refund process.”

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