The Philadelphia Belle shuts down operations

July 21, 2011 8:30:13 PM PDT
Nearly seven months into its Philadelphia voyage, and during the peak tourist season, the Philadelphia Belle abruptly stopped operations 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

"We had hoped to rescue the situation. We waited up until the last minute but we weren't able to do that so we pull plug," said Perry Miles, the Philadelphia Belle's general manager.

Management says there just hasn't been enough booking to keep the boat afloat.

Thursday afternoon, nearly 133 employees were seen leaving with their belongings after being given notice of the closure.

The management says there is enough money to pay the employees for their completed work.

For 56 senior citizens, high spirits sank when they pulled up to the pier only to learn that the ship is no longer sailing.

The members of the Ben Wilson Senior Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania shelled out $75.50 each for the tour bus, and two-hour lunch cruise.

"To me it's a lost day. These people are on fixed incomes. I definitely want a complete refund," said Earl Baxter, one of many disappointed tourists.

There are a now a number of tours being cancelled, some even on short notice.

The general manager says that information regarding refunds will be forthcoming.