Royal Caribbean is offering guests booked on cruises to Russia the option of cancelling their cruise without any costs and rebooking on a new sailing. This follows a recent US travel advisory warning that passengers should avoid all non-essential travel in Russia due to heightened tensions between the two countries.

The “celebrity cruises scandinavia and russia 2022” is an update from Royal Caribbean to guests booked on sailings to Russia. The cruise line has been in contact with the US Department of State, and has made changes to their itinerary.

Royal Caribbean Provides Update to Guests Booked on Sailings to Russia

Despite conceding that visiting Russia is becoming more risky in an online statement, Royal Caribbean has no intentions to stop trips there. The same goes for Celebrity Cruises, which sent out a similar statement. 

Voyager of the Seas will perform cruises in the Baltic, including trips to St. Petersburg, for Royal Caribbean International; Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Silhouette will visit the renowned Russian port for Celebrity Cruises. 

Royal Caribbean is planning a trip to Russia.

Despite the political consequences and global sanctions imposed by the EU, US, and UK against Russia, Royal Caribbean has said that port visits to St. Petersburg will continue at this time. Both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Voyages have cruises booked for this summer.

Serenade of the Seas in St. Petersburg, RussiaSt. Petersburg’s Serenade of the Seas (photo credit: Akimov Igor / Shutterstock)

The firm says it is carefully following the situation as it evolves in a letter issued to passengers booked on one of the Russia cruises, but for the time being, it plans to sail to St. Petersburg:

“Given recent developments, it’s becoming more doubtful that we’ll be able to visit St. Petersburg, Russia, as planned.” We’d want to discuss our ideas with you for your peace of mind.” 

“At this moment, our plan is to cruise to St. Petersburg; but, we have secured other ports in case we decide that altering our plans is the wisest course of action.” If we decide to officially amend our schedule, you and your travel adviser will be the first to know.”

Currently, the cruise company is unclear about whether or not going to Russia is a good idea. Between May 1 and August 21, Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas will travel to St. Petersburg on fifteen itineraries.

Also see: How the Russian Invasion of Ukraine Affects the Cruise Industry

Onboard the Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Cruises has booked seven departures to St. Petersburg, including visits on May 14, 26, and 30; July 8 and July 20; and August 13 and August 20. 

What Are the Guests’ Options?

Although the events in Ukraine are thousands of kilometers away from St. Petersburg and are unlikely to pose a direct threat to passengers, the international sanctions, along with public sentiment against contributing to Russia’s economy, might force Royal Caribbean to cancel cruises to Russia in any case. 

Royal Caribbean Cruise ShipDarryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com / Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock.com / Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock

As a result, Royal Caribbean offers a variety of alternatives to passengers on both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International ships:

“We’re keeping a close eye on developments throughout the globe, especially the situation in Ukraine.” With the recent developments, it is becoming more doubtful that we will be able to visit St. Petersburg. We recognize that recent events in the area may make you apprehensive to go to Russia, so we’ve put up a list of choices to guarantee you have the greatest experience possible with us.”

Guests have the choice of keeping their present booking and knowing that the cruise line is working on alternatives. Guests may also opt-in for a Future Cruise Credit to be utilised on a future voyage using their Cruise With Confidence policy. 

Guests may also choose to cancel their trip and book an alternative cruise at no cost to them. If Royal Caribbean decides to modify the schedule, customers will be able to cancel and get a full refund.

Travel Tips for Russia

Several cruise companies have responded to the recent events in Eastern Europe. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings was one of the first cruise companies to cancel all Russian cruises. More cruise lines are expected to follow suit in the following days.

Cruise Ships in St. Petersburg, RussiaPhoto credit: Shutterstock/Artem Yampolcev

“Do not travel to Russia due to ongoing tension along the border with Ukraine, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19 and related entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law,” according to the US State Department.

The State Department’s travel advisory will be used by cruise companies to choose whether or not to visit St. Petersburg. If it remains at level 4, cruises to Russia are becoming more improbable. 

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship in Russia

Royal Caribbean has provided an update to guests booked on sailings to Russia. The company has released a statement that says they are not canceling any of the scheduled sailings to Russia, but they will be providing updates as information becomes available. Reference: cruises from st petersburg russia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Russia allowing cruise ships?

A: Russia is not allowing cruise ships to enter their waters at the moment.

Is Royal Caribbean allowing cancellations?

A: Yes. Royal Caribbean allows for cancellations with a $200 deposit refundable on most sailings, as well as refunds of up to 75% if you cancel before your cruise begins

Do I have to wear a mask on a cruise ship?

A: No, you dont have to wear a mask on a cruise ship.

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