Cruise Ship Encounters Tropical Storm to Reach Kenya

You can receive daily cruise news updates directly to your inbox, so you don't miss a thing! Go ahead and Subscribe here.

Hundreds of passengers aboard Oceania Cruises’ MS Insignia experienced a harrowing journey as the cruise liner navigated through severe conditions brought on by Tropical Cyclone IALY to dock at the Port of Mombasa in Kenya on May 22, 2024.

The storm, which intensified from a tropical storm on May 21 and became the most northerly tropical cyclone, brought winds gusts in excess of 45 miles per hour and high seas near the Kenyan coast. 

Kenya Meteorological Department’s Director of Meteorological Services Dr. David Gikungu had warned, “Moderate choppy seas are expected, which may be dangerous for boats and other small sea craft.”Dr. Gikungu forecasted waves along the Kenyan coast reaching heights up to 12 feet “accompanied by large short period waves of 8 to 9 seconds” in Mombasa.

MS Insignia, traveling from Mahe, Seychelles, on May 19, arrived in Mombasa after battling two days of stormy seas. 

Captain Laurence Badasse told Kenyan news outlets, “We so much wanted to come to the Kenyan coast. We had two rough seas days before we reached. We are glad we made it on time and safe.”

MS Insignia’s journey was originally intended to pass through the Suez Canal on its World Cruise but instead was rerouted to travel around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa due to geopolitical tension in the Red Sea. Arriving in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on May 13, passengers who did not want to continue to Africa were allowed to disembark, causing the ship to sail on at a lower capacity.

Read Also: The Impact of Red Sea Tensions on Cruising

The 30,277-gross-ton ship was carrying only 357 passengers instead of its intended 684, along with 396 crew members when it traversed the Indian Ocean and arrived in Mombasa.

During its call, several parts of the city were still without power from the storm that damaged several buildings and left residents also facing interruptions in their water supply. 

However, Kenya Tourism Board CEO June Chepkemei told local news outlets that MS Insignia’s passengers enjoyed their experience in Kenya with a safari and Swahili cultural experiences.

ms Insignia
Photo By: Bahnfrend

As IALY dissipated by the time the ship arrived, MS Insignia continued its scheduled 20-night segment, traveling to Zanzibar, Tanzania, on May 23. It will arrive next in Mayotte, Comoros; Maputo, Mozambique; and Durban, South Africa, before concluding the segment in Cape Town on June 2.

The World Cruise departed Los Angeles, California, on January 14, 2024, and will conclude in New York City on July 12, 2024.

Why was the ship diverted to Africa?

MS Insignia arrived in Africa on a diverted route following the security crisis in the Red Sea that began earlier in the year. The ongoing conflict involves Houthi rebels in Yemen using armed drones and sea mines to assert control and disrupt maritime traffic in the crucial route that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal.

Insignia, Oceania Cruises
Photo By: Oceania Cruises

Although targeting cargo ships, for the safety and security of passengers, major cruise lines like Virgin Voyages and all brands under the Carnival Corporation decided to reroute ships away from the Suez Canal, affecting dozens of cruise itineraries between Europe and Asia. 

Oceania Cruises, a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, alerted passengers booked on its World Cruise of the itinerary changes in February.

If you enjoyed the article and would like no fuss daily cruise news to your inbox directly from Cruise Hive, you can Subscribe here.


Free expert cruise tips and news from Cruise Hive! We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Don't Miss Any Cruise News!

We'll send you the latest cruise updates daily to your inbox.

Copy link