Weather Causes Royal Caribbean Embarkation Port Switch

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Royal Caribbean International has reached out to guests setting sail aboard Explorer of the Seas for the ship’s September 24 departure about an embarkation port change due to rough weather that makes it unsafe to use the original port of Ravenna, Italy.

Now, the ship will be departing from Trieste, Italy, but guests will check in at the terminal in Venice and the cruise line will provide transfers from there.

Explorer of the Seas Departure Port Change

Explorer of the Seas will set sail on its 7-night Greece & Croatia itinerary on Sunday, September 24, 2023 from a completely different embarkation port than originally planned. The cruise was supposed to depart from Ravenna, Italy on the country’s east coast, but bad weather has made that impossible.

Now, the ship will instead depart from Trieste, in Italy’s extreme northwestern corner – 275 kilometers (171 miles) away. Royal Caribbean International has notified guests about the change, as well as revised embarkation plans.

“To ensure the safety and comfort of our guests, we’ll now need to conduct our check-in at the Venezia Terminal Passeggeri in Venice, Italy and depart from Trieste, Italy at 9:00 PM on Sunday September 24, 2023,” the notification explained.

The Venezia Terminal Passeggeri is located in Venice, and check-in for the cruise will begin at 9:30 a.m. Guests are asked to keep their planned arrival appointments and to ensure they arrive in Venice no later than 4:30 p.m. in order to be checked in by 5 p.m.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas Cruise Ship
Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Rob Crandall / Shutterstock)

Royal Caribbean is providing complimentary transfers from Venice to Trieste for guests to board Explorer of the Seas. The trip will take approximately two hours, depending on local traffic, and the last transfer will leave Venice at 5:15 p.m.

Guests can reach the Venezia Terminal Passeggeri via either water or land shuttle from the Venice airport. As many travelers often spend a few days in Italy prior to this type of sailing – with Venice one of the top destinations for such pre-cruise stays – this will not be too inconvenient.

“While these circumstances are beyond our control, we understand that this change impacts your vacation and apologize for any inconvenience this necessary change may cause,” the notification read.

At this time, there are no further itinerary changes confirmed for Explorer of the Seas. The ship should be visiting Split, Athens, Santorini, and Dubrovnik on the sailing, though there may be adjustments to the overall itinerary if weather conditions require it. The ship is scheduled to return to Ravenna on Sunday, October 1, 2023.

Explorer of the Seas is a 138,194-gross ton, Voyager class ship that can welcome 3,114 guests aboard at double occupancy, or as many as 3,840 travelers when fully booked with all berths filled. The ship is currently based from Ravenna, offering Adriatic Seas cruises to destinations in Greece, Montenegro, Italy, and Croatia.

In late October, Explorer of the Seas will first reposition to Rome and then will make a transatlantic crossing to bring the ship to Miami to offer Caribbean itineraries through the winter. In April 2024, the ship will return to Italy for another Mediterranean season.

Poor Weather Near Ravenna

The weather forecast for Ravenna on September 24 includes winds from the north at 16-24 kilometers per hour (10-15 miles per hour), as well as a chance of rain.

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
Photo Credit: Merrillie Redden / Shutterstock

While that may not seem like significantly high winds, particularly when compared to the tropical storm conditions that are impacting cruises on the eastern US coast at the same time, the wind direction, navigation challenges near the Port of Ravenna, and the potential for even higher wind gusts make it safer to adjust the embarkation port.

Furthermore, localized flooding with rain near Ravenna can make it difficult for guests to reach that cruise terminal, similar to a situation in May 2023 when devastating floods washed out roadways and caused a variety of traffic complications. At that time, Royal Caribbean International also changed Explorer of the Seas‘ embarkation from Ravenna to Trieste, with check-in in Venice.

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