Celebrity Cruises has cancelled the remainder of its Middle East cruise season out of Dubai after the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority took the unprecedented decision to close the country’s port to some cruise ships.
Celebrity Cruises made the decision after it was informed by the UAE that cruise operations would be suspended, the Indian government followed suit, but allowed Celebrity Constellation to dock in Mumbai to debark her guests.
“Due to a decision by the governments of India and United Arab Emirates to deny port entry to all cruise ships, we have made the difficult decision to end Celebrity Constellation’s March 2nd sailing early,” said Mohamed Saeed, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara & Silversea Cruises – Middle East.
“At this time, the Government of India has approved our extended stay in Mumbai until Tuesday, March 10th, to facilitate debarkation for all guests,” he told Cruise Arabia & Africa.
Celebrity Cruises will give all passengers a 100 percent cruise refund as compensation for disruption to their travel plans. Guests with shore excursions in Goa, Cochin, Abu Dhabi, or Dubai, booked through Celebrity Cruises, will automatically receive a refund to their onboard account.
“Celebrity Cruises will also assist all guests with air travel arrangements for their return home,” said Saeed.
“Due to the India and UAE port closures, we are also cancelling Celebrity Constellation’s March 17th and April 2nd sailings. All booked guests will receive a full refund to their original method of payment and a 25 percent Future Cruise Credit (FCC),” he said.
Celebrity Constellation’s March 2nd cruise from Dubai was a two-week roundtrip voyage to India and Sri Lanka. The itinerary was modified from the open-jaw Dubai to Singapore voyages the ship had been doing earlier in the season, due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Constellation was due to do one more of these two-week roundtrip voyages before cruising from Dubai to Rome on her end-of-season repositioning voyage.
The decision by the UAE to close its cruise ports to cruise ships is unprecedented, but comes amid growing concern over the vulnerability of cruise ships to Coronavirus outbreaks, after the virus infected hundreds of passengers aboard Diamond Princess and several dozen aboard Grand Princess.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News