Tuesday,  March 21, 2023  1:23 am

Cruise lines drop Russian, Ukrainian ports from 2022 voyages after invasion

  • Cruises
  •   02-25-2022  8:35 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Cruise lines drop Russian, Ukrainian ports from 2022 voyages after invasion
World Navigator. (Atlas Ocean Voyages)
Pax Global Media

The conflict between Russia and the Ukraine may disrupt the plans of some travellers who were hoping to sail into the regions on a future cruise.

Three cruise lines owned by Norwegian Cruise Line HoldingsNorwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises – announced Thursday (Feb. 24) that they would adjust itineraries and remove calls to Russian ports in 2022.

"The safety and security of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our top priority," stated Norwegian Cruise Line, as reported by USA Today. "We are currently working to confirm replacement ports and will advise all impacted guests and travel advisors as soon as possible."

NCL is removing stops in St. Petersburg from its 2022 sailings "due to the escalated situation between Russia and Ukraine."

Regent also plans to remove the Solovetsky Islands, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk and St. Petersburg, Russia, from its 2022 sailings, along with Odesa, Ukraine.

Oceania, too, is going to remove Russian and Ukrainian ports from its 2022 sailings, according to a statement.

In a post-earnings call on Thursday, NCLH CEO Frank del Rio said: "It is disappointing because St. Petersburg is one of the crown jewels of the Scandinavia itineraries. But certainly, there are alternatives."

The announcement comes one day after Russia invaded Ukraine. The changes are believed to impact roughly five per cent of NCL’s total capacity calls on St. Petersburg this summer, amounting to some 50 sailings.

Viking, too, has cancelled its summer season of “Kiev, Black Sea & Bucharest” sailings that include voyages across the Black Sea and up Ukraine’s Dnieper River. 

And British line Saga Cruises has removed a call at Odessa, Ukraine, from a Black Sea cruise scheduled to take place in May.

Florida-based Atlas Ocean Voyages is also adjusting two late-summer 2022 Baltic itineraries.

On both the Hamburg-to-Kiel itinerary, departing August 26, 2022, and Kiel-roundtrip itineraries, departing Sept. 7, World Navigator will drop St. Petersburg, Russia, and now call at Kotka and Mariehamn, Finland.

The Aug. 26 voyage includes a bucket-list transit of the Kiel Canal, while the Sept. 7 departure will now also add Saaremaa, Estonia, where World Navigator will dock in the city centre, adjacent to the Medieval Castle of Kuressaare.

“Atlas Ocean Voyages’ top priority is the safety and comfort of our guests and crew,” said Alberto Aliberti, president of Atlas Ocean Voyages, on Feb. 24. “With unrest in Eastern Europe, we have adjusted our voyages and replaced our Russia calls with equally exciting and charming destinations in Finland and Estonia. Guests will enjoy these unique and rarely visited destinations and immersive shore excursions to take in the rich cultures and breathtaking vistas of the Baltic.”

Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!  Click here to follow PAX on Facebook.