Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises refuse to cancel Russia cruises

Although most cruise lines eventually canceled calls in Russia following the unprovoked and deadly invasion of Ukraine, two lines have firmly refused to change their cruise schedules in this region: Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Cruises.

Last week, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which operates Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, canceled all of its dozens of calls in Russia through the end of the year.

Cruise fan blogger Gene Sloan, who has not been critical of Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, pointed out in a post today titled Royal Caribbean among holdouts as most major lines cancel calls to Russia that these companies refuse to join other cruise lines in canceling upcoming cruises to Russia: “Most major cruise lines have now canceled calls to Russia following the invasion of Ukraine by the country, with only a handful of holdouts, including Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. plans to visit Russian ports with ships in the coming months.

Three days after NCLH’s announcement, Carnival Corporation finally released a similar announcement after initially announcing that it was cluelessly “monitoring” developments in the region.

Yesterday MSC Cruises also announced that it was suspending all calls to St Petersburg, Russia for this year due to “recent developments in the region and related security issues”.

But Royal Caribbean recently said in a letter to guests that at this time “our intention is to sail to St. Petersburg.” the Cruise Hive Blog reported that “despite the political ramifications and widespread sanctions that the EU, US and UK have implemented against Russia, Royal Caribbean has stated that it still intends to include stopovers in St. Petersburg at the moment”. Cruise Hive points out that Celebrity ialways offers himself shamelessly #cruise holidays in St. Petersburg, Russia on the Celebrity Summit & Celebrity silhouette.

The popular Royal Caribbean Blog says the cruise line has “emergency ports” that include alternate destinations if guests are “hesitant to sail to Russia.” However, Royal Caribbean did not specify any alleged backup ports that could replace the Russian port of St. Petersburg.

particularly disappointing and disturbing is the fact that Royal Caribbean/Celebrity have made no statement supporting the democratic government of Ukraine or criticizing the appalling aggression of Russian leader Putin. Doing business with a pariah country like Russia doesn’t seem like a particularly good choice for this Liberian-incorporated cruise line. Its cruise ships are staffed with several hundred Ukrainian crew members and officers. Several dozen Ukrainian crew members have contacted this blog and openly expressed their solidarity with the ship’s employees of countless other countries, including Russia, in opposing greed and the thirst for power and control of the Russian leader Putin.

A review of the Royal Caribbean website shows that he sells several dozen Russian cruises and excursions, including calls to St. Petersburg where he tells potential customers they can visit sights in the city, including the imperial palaces belonging to the czars.

Royal Caribbean will ultimately not sail into a Russian port while that country is engaged in armed hostilities with Ukraine, if for no reason other than injury or death involving a cruise guest on a ship in a war zone would not be covered by his insurers. But his silence and his refusal to join the international community in expressing his support for Ukraine and condemning Putin is simply shameful.

Do you have a comment or a question? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Royal Caribbean

Update March 3, 2022:

Royal Cribbean quickly caved to social media and public pressure eventually canceling future cruises to St Petersburg, Russia.