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Attacks In The Red Sea Force Royal Caribbean And MSC To Cancel Trips

Attacks In The Red Sea Force Royal Caribbean And MSC To Cancel Trips
Due to Houthi militia attacks on ships, several cruise operators have cancelled or changed their routes to avoid the Red Sea; nonetheless, the business, which is valued at billions of dollars, is not likely to be significantly impacted overall.
Since November, the Iran-backed militia has been attacking Yemen, slowing trade between Asia and Europe and igniting fears that Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in Gaza may be preparing to escalate their conflict.
In a statement released on Thursday, Royal Caribbean announced that it had already cancelled two trips.
There were two scheduled dates: Jan. 26–Feb. 11 from Dubai to Mumbai and Jan. 16–26 from Muscat to Dubai.
Additionally, it changed the schedule of a cruise last week between Aqaba and Muscat to allow guests to land in a port city close to Athens.
"Our global security team continues to closely monitor the situation in the region and we will make additional changes if required," stated Royal Caribbean.
Due to the Red Sea issue, Swiss-Italian cruise line MSC Cruises announced on Wednesday that it has cancelled three April cruises from South Africa and the United Arab Emirates to Europe.
"The safety of passengers and crew is the number one priority and as there was no viable alternative itinerary, the company has regrettably had to cancel the voyages," MSC Cruises said. "The three ships will transfer directly to Europe without any passengers on board and avoid transiting through the Red Sea."
Despite the fact that thousands of passengers are impacted, Todd Elliott, CEO of Florida-based travel company Cruise Vacation Outlet, stated that the impact on cruise operators globally is not anticipated to be great.
"This is a small part of their overall fleet and multi-year itineraries so they will be able to overcome this easily," Elliott stated.
Only two of Costa Cruises' itineraries that are due to pass through the Red Sea in March and April—including the final part of a round-the-world trip—may be impacted, the Italian cruise line told Reuters on Thursday. Routes "remain unchanged."
Carnival stated that its international security team was prioritising safety and, if necessary, modifying its itineraries in collaboration with governments and international security experts.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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