Due to the increasing security concerns in the Red Sea area, MSC Cruises has decided to cancel the winter voyages of two of its vessels – the MSC Orchestra and the MSC Sinfonia.
Two MSC Ships Cancel
The MSC Orchestra’s full winter program, which was scheduled from November to April in the Red Sea, has been called off. This particular itinerary did not include stops in Israel but had planned ports of call in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. The proximity of some of these destinations to Israel, coupled with travel restrictions in neighboring countries, could have caused issues.
Similarly, the winter program for the MSC Sinfonia has been cancelled. A significant highlight of its itinerary was a stop in Haifa, Israel, which, under the current circumstances, is not possible.
RELATED: MSC Cruises Ships Ranked by Size
For passengers affected by these changes, MSC Cruises is offering two options: they can switch their cruise to another ship and itinerary of similar duration or request a full refund.
MSC said is closely monitoring the evolving situation in the Middle East and is prepared to modify itineraries if necessary.
MSC Virtuosa, MSC Opera, MSC Splendida, and MSC Armonia are all scheduled to be in the area in the coming months.
Travel Restrictions Everywhere
The geopolitical situation has led to travel restrictions local authorities impose in certain destinations. Some national governments have also issued advisories against travel to specific areas.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a worldwide travel alert on its site. “Due to increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution,” it reads.
MSC Cruises isn’t the only cruise line to pull out or cancel voyages in the region. Recently Royal Caribbean pulled Rhapsody of the Seas out of Haifa, Isreal, cancelling the remainder of its 2023 season. Other cruise lines have adjusted itineraries to steer clear of the region.