UAE cancels sea cruises

The world’s biggest cruise companies are rearranging itineraries across the Red Sea amid rising tensions between Yemen’s Houthi militants and British and US military forces.

Swiss-Italian operator MSC Cruises became the first cruise company to cancel its voyages in mid-January, including the 21-day MSC Opera cruise from Dubai to Genoa and the 23-day MSC Virtuosa from Dubai to Britain’s Southampton.

The company found no alternative route and cancelled the flights to ensure the safety of passengers. All passengers were offered rebooked trips or refunds.

Costa Cruises, owned by Carnival, also cancelled a 19-night cruise from the UAE to Italy – it was due to start on March 9. Several Seabourn and Aida Cruises voyages scheduled for the spring and summer seasons have also been cancelled. These include Aida cruises from Dubai to Hamburg and Mallorca.

A cruise on the Seabourn liner, which was to have travelled from Hong Kong to Dubai, will also not take place. Princess Cruises liners are also choosing alternative routes – bypassing the Red Sea. In January, Silversea cancelled two voyages aboard Silver Moon – from Muscat to Dubai and from Dubai to Mumbai.

So far, the changes have only affected spring flights, with autumn flights still available for booking. Despite heightened tensions in the region, Dubai and Abu Dhabi will still see dozens of cruise ships arriving in February.

Source: The National

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