Russian cruises axed in Putin pressure

Shunned St Petersburg

Cruise lines have axed calls inSt Petersburg and other Russian ports as sanctions pressure on Putin continues to mount. Luxury line Seabourn is the latest to suspend visits to the city. Some river cruises due to pass through the threatened Ukrain capital Kyiv are also among those to have been cancelled. Major company Carnival – its cruise brands include P&O, Cunard, Princess, Holland America and Seabourn - had announced on Twitter its would modify sailings "once alternative ports can be confirmed". Its statement said: "We stand for peace". Princess has since announced that 24 cruises which had been scheduled to stop in StPetersburg have been modified to call at alternatives including Stockholm, Visby, also in Sweden and the Polish port of Gdansk (Gdynia).

Gdansk - alternative for Princess Cruises

Viking, whose planned itineraries for this year had included sailings across Ukraine and down the River Dnieper to the Black Sea, said: "We are deeply opposed to the unfolding conflict in Ukraine and are heartbroken for all the people who are impacted. On February 24, we canceled all 2022 departures of our Ukraine river itinerary. Today, March 1, we have made the decision to cease all operations in Russia in 2022. Therefore, we have canceled all 2022 departures of our Russia river itineraries—and will replace scheduled stops in Russia for all 2022 ocean itineraries. Guests and their travel advisors on impacted departures are in the process of being notified.As a company that has been helping people explore the world for 25 years, we strongly believe in the power of travel to build connections between cultures. At this time, we are continuing to evaluate our 2023 itineraries. We remain hopeful for a quick resolution to the current conflict. Our team is actively monitoring the situation and will keep our guests up to date as necessary."

MSC Cruises has suspended calls at St Petersburg scheduled to take place between May and October. Instead four ships with relevanth itineraries - MSC Preziosa, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Poesia and MSC Virtuosa – will call instead at Stockholm, Helsinki or Talinn.

Windstar Cruises said: " In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, small-ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has cancelled all sailings and cruise tours in the Black Sea region and will change its Baltic itineraries to replace calls in St. Petersburg, Russia with calls in a non-Russian port. Guests and travel advisors will be notified of the changes."