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Updated: Cruise lines amend Russia and Baltic itineraries in light of Ukraine crisis


A number of cruise lines have amended or cancelled Russia and Baltic itineraries due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

On 1 March, MSC Cruises announced it had suspended calls to St Petersburg, Russia, because of “recent developments in the region and related security concerns”.

The company said the health and safety of its passengers and crew was its top priority and that from the end of May until October, its four ships with Baltic Sea sailings that had included St Petersburg in any of their summer 2022 itineraries – MSC Preziosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Poesia and MSC Virtuosa – will suspend their calls to the Russian city.

It added in a statement: “Since the onset of the current events the line has been in touch with alternative ports – such as Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn – to confirm calls for the four vessels and it will communicate the exact details for each individual sailing as soon as possible to travel agents and any customers affected by the new arrangements.

“MSC Cruises will also update its website to reflect the confirmed details of the new itineraries to provide maximum clarity for existing guests as well as for anyone looking to book future holidays at sea in the Baltic Sea.”

Viking has also cancelled 2022 departures of its Russian river cruise programme, following on from its earlier suspension of its 2022 Kiev, Black Sea & Bucharest itinerary.

Another ocean cruise line, P&O Cruises, has stated it will amend Baltic cruises, while Norwegian Cruise Line has dropped calls to St Petersburg.

Princess Cruises has modified itineraries on 24 cruises that call in St Petersburg with alternative ports. The line said: “Replacement ports will vary by itinerary, including popular destinations such as Stockholm, Sweden (overnight call); Visby, Sweden and Gdansk (Gdynia), Poland.

“Guests can remain booked on their long-awaited cruises, and have the opportunity to visit medieval architecture, world famous landmarks and natural beauty on these Northern Europe cruises.”

In addition, Royal Caribbean has removed calls into St Petersburg this summer, and Riviera Travel confirmed it had cancelled tours and cruises to Russia, adding that it will be contacting customers with current bookings.

This story will be updated as and when other cruise lines confirm plans.

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