St. Petersburg is usually a highlight for many; however, this year, it will be a port that is avoided by the cruise lines. AIDA, the German cruise operator, canceled its calls earlier this week and announced several new ports that will replace the calls for the 2022 summer season to St. Petersburg.
Four ships had been scheduled to visit the Russian destination. Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, three ships have new itineraries, while the return to service date for AIDAvita has been postponed until July.
AIDA Ships Will Not Be Sailing to Russia
Sailing to Saint Petersburg on a cruise is a highlight and bucket list item for many people. However, the visits to the Hermitage and the Summer Palace are a thing of the past, at least for the immediate future. Almost all internationally operating cruise lines canceled calls to Russian ports in the last couple of days due to the violent attacks by Russian forces on Ukraine.
AIDA cruises have joined that list of cruise lines that canceled the calls to Russia. The cruise line said the following this week:
“We view the dramatic events in Ukraine with great concern and hope for a peaceful solution soon. Our sympathy and thoughts are with all people in the affected region, especially with the families and friends of our colleagues.“
“In the coming days, we will adjust the itinerary of our cruise ships in the summer season of 2022 in the Baltic Sea region and inform our guests about the changes as soon as possible. The safety and well-being of our guests and crew are our highest priority.“
Those changes have now been finalized and include calls to Riga in Latvia, Copenhagen in Denmark, the Norwegian capital city of Oslo, or Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland, during the summer of 2022.
Itineraries Changed For Four Cruise Ships
Four ships have been affected by the itinerary changes: AIDAdiva, AIDAmar, AIDAnova, and AIDAvita.
AIDAdiva will be sailing to either Riga, in Latvia, or Copenhagen, Denmark, instead of Saint Petersburg on its seven-day voyages from Warnemünde between May 14 and October 8, 2022. For the May 7 departure, there will be a call to the Finnish city of Hamina.
Sailing from Kiel on seven-day voyages with departure dates between May 14 and October 15, 2022, AIDAnova will be sailing to Norway and Denmark, while guests will also have the chance to enjoy an extended stay in the hugely popular port of Tallinn, Estonia.
Additional ports of call for AIDAnova also include Copenhagen and Kalundborg in Denmark, visits to Kristiansand in Norway, and an overnight stay in Oslo. AIDAmar will call at the port of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland and the Latvian capital Riga instead of Saint Petersburg on its ten-day Baltic Sea round trips.
For AIDAvita, the cancelation of St. Petersburg means its service return has been postponed until July 24 instead of March 31. Guests booked on any of the canceled cruises on AIDAvita are asked to rebook to a different cruise and will receive an onboard credit. The cruise line will contact guests who have been affected by any itinerary change in the upcoming days.