Cruise Ship Held Up Due To Visa Issue – Passengers Stuck Onboard

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MSC Armonia is currently stuck in the Port of Barcelona due to problems with visas for 69 passengers onboard.

MSC Armonia

The passengers – all from Bolivia – were sailing from South America and intended to disembark in the Spanish port, but while their documentation was examined and judged to be correct in Brazil, it’s now been found to be ineligible and so the guests aren’t able to enter the Schengen zone.

The visa issue is not just affecting those passengers – the 1,500-passenger capacity ship is due to carry on the cruise to Corsica, Civitavecchia and then only the Eastern Med before concluding in Venice – and so the other passengers onboard are facing cancelled ports of call if the issue can’t be resolved.

We are currently working with the Spanish authorities to manage a situation with a number of guests from Bolivia that includes families and children…As a result, these guests have not been able to disembark in Barcelona, which was their final destination. The ship has remained in the port while we work with the relevant authorities to find a solution to this complex issue.

MSC Cruises spokesperson

At the moment, no updates have been given on the rest of the cruise itinerary, with the cruise line working closely with the Bolivian Foreign Ministry to try and resolve the issue quickly.

While missed ports of call aren’t uncommon in cruising, for a cruise to cut short an itinerary by more than a day due to visa issues would be a significant event, and would be a big financial hit for the cruise line, as it would have to reimburse all the other passengers for part of their fare along with any missed excursions.

Hopefully, the issue is resolved quickly and the ship can continue, while the Bolivian passengers are permitted to disembark.


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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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