MSC Cruises has announced that calls to St Petersburg, Russia, have been suspended due to developments in the region. Other major cruise lines are also canceling calls to Russia and offering alternative ports in the Baltic.
MSC Cruise Ships Cancel Russia
The Swiss-based cruise line has decided to follow other cruise companies by removing calls to St Petersburg in Russia due to the developing situation in Ukraine. MSC Cruises said the reason was because of security concerns and to protect to health and safety of its passengers.
MSC Cruises said in a released statement: “MSC Cruises today announced that it has suspended its ships’ calls to St Petersburg, Russia due to recent developments in the region and related security concerns.”
Even though no MSC cruise ships are currently sailing to the Russian port, four vessels were scheduled to include calls during Baltic sailings. MSC Preziosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Poesia and MSC Virtuosa included the Russian port of call from end of May until October 2022. Those ships will no longer visit the city, and MSC Cruises is already working to find alternative ports.
The cruise line has confirmed that it has been in contact with alternative ports to possibly replace the Russian call since the onset of current events. Those ports that could replace St Petersburg include Stockholm in Sweden, Helsinki in Finland and Tallinn in Estonia. Those ports are well-known cruise stops for Baltic sailings, not just for MSC but many cruise lines.
Guests booked on any impacted sailings are being contacted once the new adjusted itineraries are confirmed. MSC Cruises will also update its website with the updated details.
Cruise Lines Abandon Russia
Norwegian Cruise Line became the first to announce it would cancel all calls to Russia. The cruise company removed the calls for all of 2022 and said in a letter to guests, “The health, safety, and security of our guests, crew, and communities we visit is our top priority. Due to the escalated situation between Russia and Ukraine we have made the decision to alter itineraries and remove calls to St. Petersburg, Russia from our sailings for the remainder of the year.”
Carnival Corporation and its nine cruise brands confirmed that it was working on removing Russia from any cruise ship itineraries, including major lines such as Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Holland America Line.
The company said in a tweet posted on February 26, “In light of the recent attacks by Russia in Ukraine, Carnival Corporation brands will be modifying our itineraries in the coming week once alternative ports can be confirmed. We stand for peace.”
However, one major cruise company, Royal Caribbean, has not gone as far as committing to cancellations in Russia but did have a backup plan: “At this time, our intention is to sail to St. Petersburg; however, we have secured alternate ports, should we feel that changing our itinerary is the best path forward. You and your travel advisor will be the first to know should we decide to formally change our itinerary.”
Other smaller cruise lines have also decided to cancel visits to the country as the world cuts ties with the country. Cruise Hive will keep readers updated on any new developments in relation to the cruise industry.