MSC Cruises Cancels Grand Voyage for Newest Ship

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MSC Cruises has reached out to travel agents to advise them of the cancellation of MSC Euribia‘s Grand Voyage departing on October 19, 2024.

The sailing was to have transited through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea, but in light of the ongoing tensions in the region, it is no longer safe to operate the voyage, and no alternative is available.

MSC Euribia Grand Voyage Cancelled

MSC Cruises is alerting travel agents that the October 19, 2024 departure of MSC Euribia is now cancelled. The sailing was to have been one of the ship’s immersive “Grand Voyages” departing from Kiel, Germany and visiting ports throughout Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as a transit through the Suez Canal, on her way to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

“Considering the risks of sailing in the Red Sea due to continuous attacks on ships, we were forced to cancel MSC Euribia’s Grand Voyage from Northern Europe to the United Arab Emirates,” the email confirmed. “The safety and well-being of guests is our priority and, unfortunately, there is no viable alternative route for this trip.”

The ship will still be offering sailings from Dubai and Doha, Qatar from November 16, which means the vessel will still be moved to her new sailing region, but without guests aboard.

Read Also: The Impact of Red Sea Tensions on Cruising

This repositioning could be done in two ways. The ship might sail through the Red Sea but at top speed and without passengers aboard, though this is a very risky and unlikely option, considering the vessel and her crew would still be at risk.

More likely is that the ship will sail around Africa to avoid the troubled region entirely. Because this is a much greater distance to cover, however, it is not possible for the trip to be a passenger sailing as there would not be enough time to visit ports of call while still arriving in Dubai for the ship’s planned November 16 departure.

MSC Euribia
Photo Credit: MSC Cruises

If even more time is needed to move the ship safely, additional sailings, either before or after the now-cancelled Grand Voyage, may be cancelled to accommodate the change.

This change to the Grand Voyage and possible adjacent sailings is very similar to the recently announced cancellation of similar repositioning movements for Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, also in October 2024.

MSC Euribia is the newest ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet, having just begun sailing in June 2023. Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the 184,011-gross-ton vessel is Mereviglia-plus-class and can welcome up to 6,327 guests per sailing.

Options for Booked Guests

This news comes six months before the cruise was to have departed, giving travelers ample time to rearrange their vacation plans and choose an alternative sailing if they prefer. MSC Cruises is offering booked guests three options.

MSC Euribia Cruise Ship
MSC Euribia Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia)

First, guests may transfer their MSC Euribia booking to another Grand Voyage aboard a different MSC Cruises ship, or still aboard MSC Euribia for different dates, at the same duration and in the same stateroom type. There would be no additional cost to the cruise fare, though flights and additional services may have cost differences.

Second, travelers can opt to move their booking and all payments already made to any currently scheduled MSC Cruises sailing, with no change fees.

Finally, if guests don’t wish to switch their booking to an alternative sailing, they can cancel for a full refund with no cancellation penalties.

MSC Cruises is requesting that all guests make their decisions by Friday, April 26, 2024. At that time, if no alternative sailing has been arranged, any remaining reservations for MSC Euribia are likely to be cancelled for refunds.

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