Amid growing geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea, AIDA Cruises announces the cancellation of several 2024 voyages. This decision echoes a broader trend among cruise lines reevaluating their presence in the region.
AIDA Cruises Cancels Spring 2024 Voyages
In a response to the escalating geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea, Carnival-owned AIDA Cruises has cancelled several voyages scheduled for spring 2024. Prioritizing the safety of its guests and crew, the cruise line announced the cancellation of trips aboard AIDAbella, AIDAblu, and AIDAprima.
In an official statement, the cruise line expressed its remorse, acknowledging that the cancellations were “the only responsible option.” The statement emphasized, “It is important to us to give all guests planning security for their vacation with this early information.”
Read Also: The Impact of Red Sea Tensions on Cruising
The affected cruises include AIDAbella’s April 16, 2024 Dubai to Mallorca sailing; AIDAblu’s Mauritius to Corfu voyage on March 5 and Seychelles to Corfu 1 and 2 sailings on March 12; and AIDAprima’s Globetrotter from Dubai to Hamburg on March 30 and from Abu Dhabi to Hamburg on April 7, as well as its Dubai to Mallorca 1 and 2 voyages on April 5 and 6.
Owing to the extended duration of cruises along the African coastline, several individual voyages preceding and following the transit journeys have been called off.
This change impacts AIDAbella’s scheduled sailings from April 16 to May 26, 2024; AIDAblu’s voyaes set between February 27 and March 30, 2024; and AIDAprima’s cruises planned prior to April 5 and after May 7, 2024.
Impact on Passengers
The cancelled AIDA voyages were set to offer guests unique experiences with destinations including Dubai, Mallorca, Mauritius, Corfu, Seychelles, Hamburg and Abu Dhabi. The cruise line is now focusing on providing passengers with alternative travel options.
Affected passengers are offered the opportunity to rebook to any voyage in AIDA’s program, with the added benefit of a 10% voucher of their previous travel price.
AIDA Cruises has committed to full refunds for those opting not to rebook, as well as refunds for any prebooked services on myAIDA, following their originally chosen payment method. The company remains committed to its itineraries in the Red Sea from autumn 2024 onwards, pending further developments.
Widespread Impact on Cruise Industry
In recent months, the Red Sea, a vital maritime route connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean, has seen a disturbing rise in tensions, primarily involving Houthi rebels in Yemen. These escalated conflicts have led to attacks on commercial vessels, triggering global alarm.
This uncertainty has forced several cruise lines to reassess their Suez Canal transits. MSC Cruises, for instance, has rerouted its MSC Poesia and cancelled three “Grand Voyages” scheduled for April.
Silversea’s Silver Moon has also adjusted its itinerary, converting to a round-trip journey from Aqaba and cancelling subsequent sailing.
Other lines like Azamara, Cunard, Holland America, and P&O Cruises are closely monitoring the situation, and prepared to adjust their schedules if necessary.
Passengers affected by these changes face various options, from full refunds to rebooking on alternative voyages. Cruise lines are generally expected to offer flexibility in light of travel advisories from authorities such as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the U.S. Department of State.