Several cruise lines have either made changes to their scheduled cruise itineraries, or sent out warnings to guests, due to unrest in different locations around the world.
The affected areas are the Red Sea, where the Iran-backed Houthi movement has been attacking various ships, and in Ecuador where political unrest and violence has led to a state of emergency.
Red Sea Changes
Houthi fighters in Yemen have been attacking several commercial ships travelling in the Red Sea, which has now led to retaliatory strikes from the UK and US governments.
The Houthi group claimed to be targeting ships it believes are travelling to Israel to support the country during the war in Palestine. However, it would be very easy for the group to target cruise ships, either accidentally or intentionally.
For that reason, MSC Cruises has made significant changes to its world cruise sailing on MSC Poesia, which departed last week from Genoa.
While the ship was due to traverse the Suez Canal, it will now sail west out of the Mediterranean, and cruise around the African coastline, down past the Cape of Good Hope.
It means that the ship will no longer be calling in Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, though she will now call at the Canary Islands, Senegal, and Cape Verde.
Silversea has also made changes to cruises on the Silver Moon, which was due to sail itineraries in the Middle East. The current itinerary has been shortened, and the upcoming Muscat to Dubai segment has been cancelled, with new flights scheduled to take guests home.
Guests will receive a full refund for the cancelled segment, and a 20% discount on any 2024 cruise. As well as that, guests will get a 50% Future Cruise Credit to use any time in the next 24 months, based on the amended current sailing, and a generous $500 to spend onboard too.
Further sailings could yet be cancelled on Silver Moon – guests will be notified if so.
Ecuador Cruise Warnings
Political unrest in Ecuador is causing concern for Celebrity Cruises. The country is now in a state of emergency, although for now, the cruise line has decided not to cancel cruises sailing from the country to the Galapagos Islands.
However, it is making recommendations that guests only arrive in Ecuador one day before the cruise is due to depart, with the cruise line reimbursing any fees that guests incur for changing their flight dates.
Guests will continue to stay in the Holiday Inn close to the airport, but are advised not to leave the hotel until it’s time for the cruise to depart. All pre- and post-cruise excursions in the country have been suspended for now.
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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.