MSC Cruises has canceled three Grand Voyage cruises in April. The voyages were scheduled to sail from South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Europe.
Having been forced to change the itinerary of its world cruise aboard MSC Poesia, MSC Cruises has now cancelled three Grand Voyages sailing through the Red Sea. The decision is a result of the ongoing attacks on merchant ships in the region.
The affected voyages are the 24-night cruise onboard MSC Splendida from Durban, South Africa to Genoa, Italy; the 21-night sailing onboard MSC Opera from Dubai, UAE to Genoa; and the 23-night voyage onboard MSC Virtuosa from Dubai to Southampton, UK.
In a statement the company said: “Considering the risks of sailing in the Red Sea due to the ongoing attacks on ships, we have been obliged to cancel the Grand Voyages on MSC Splendida, MSC Opera and MSC Virtuosa.” The company continued saying that: “the safety of passengers and crew is our number one priority and due to a lack of viable alternative itineraries, the company regrettably had to cancel the three sailings.”
Passengers on the affected voyages will be contacted directly or through their travel agent. Guests have to option to transfer to a future Grand Voyage, rebook on any other cruise or receive a full refund.
Guests opting to transfer to a future grand voyage of a similar duration can do so free of charge. Alternatively guests can rebook on another cruise. If the new cruise is cheaper the cruise line will reimburse the difference, if the cruise is more expensive guests will have to pay extra. For guests who opt for a refund, the company will waive the cancellation fee.
The three ships will now sail directly to Europe without any passengers onboard. Instead of sailing through the Red Sea, the ships will sail around the west coast of Africa without passengers and no ports of call on their journeys to their respective European homeports for the summer 2024 season.
Other cruise lines
Following the unrest in the area, Silversea has canceled the January 16 sailing of Silver Moon. The voyage was due to sail from Muscat, Oman to Dubai. The itinerary of Holland America Line’s world cruise aboard Zuiderdam, includes a passage of the Red Sea in mid-April. So far the cruise line has not changed the itinerary.