MSC Cruises has canceled three “Grand Voyage” cruises scheduled for April, sailing from South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Europe, due to the risk to ships in the Red Sea, according to a press release.
Due to ongoing attacks on merchant ships in the region, the company is canceling a 24-night cruise onboard the MSC Splendida from Durban, South Africa to Genoa, Italy; a 21-night sailing onboard the MSC Opera from Dubai, UAE to Genoa; and a 23-night voyage onboard the MSC Virtuosa from Dubai to Southampton, UK.
The cruise line stated that the safety of passengers and crew is its number one priority and due to a lack of viable alternative itineraries, the company regrettably had to cancel the three sailings.
MSC stated that the three ships will transfer directly to Europe without any passengers onboard, avoiding the transit through the Red Sea. Instead, they will sail around the west coast of Africa with no ports of call on their journeys to their respective European homeports for the summer 2024 season.
The company added that all passengers booked on the three repositioning voyages have been, or are in the process of being, contacted so they can transfer their booking to a future Grand Voyage of a similar duration for free. Alternatively, affected passengers can rebook to any other cruise, with either a partial refund or additional payment for the difference in the price, or receive a full refund with no cancellation fee.