Cruise lines amend Black Sea itineraries to avoid Ukraine, Crimea

Several cruise lines change itineraries to avoid Crimea and Ukraine. Image: Maryna Pleshkun/Shutterstock

Several cruise lines have changed their itineraries to the Black Sea to avoid travel to Crimea and Ukraine.

With less than two weeks before the cruise season to the Black Sea is due to begin, MSC, Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines have released amended itineraries, which bypass Odessa and Yalta.

The changed itineraries follow the Australian Government’s recent warning to avoid travelling to Crimea and Ukraine because of increasing political tensions.

MSC Sinfonia’s Black Sea itineraries scheduled in April and May 2014 have now replaced Odessa and Yalta by calling at Volos, Greece and Varna, Bulgaria.

The line said Volos is the perfect gateway to see famous monasteries and Varna is a seaside resort boasting sandy beaches and history.

“The safety and peace of mind of all our travellers and crew remains our utmost priority at all times,” MSC told Cruise Passenger.

The 12 June 2014 Black Sea cruise aboard Azamara Quest will substitute its three ports in Ukraine with stops to Bartin, Turkey; Volos and Nafplion, Greece.

Regent Seven Seas and Oceania have also replaced Crimea and Ukraine and will now sail to Batumi, Georgia; Trabzon, Turkey and Constanta, Romania.

Meanwhile, Windstar Cruises has decided Star Pride will continue to call in Ukraine, but will cancel visits to Yalta and Sevastopol in Crimea.

Replacing the two cities will be Amasra and Samsun in Turkey.

Other lines are still monitoring the situation and have yet to advise of any changes. They include Viking, which has its first sailing to Ukraine departing in May and Costa Cruises.


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