Marella Cruises has reached out to booked guests to notify them that the entire season of sailings involving Middle East and Asia itineraries must be cancelled due to the conflict in the Red Sea. This includes highly coveted sailings to Singapore, but is a necessary step to ensure guests’ safety.

Travelers are being offered a variety of options for rebooking to ease the sting of losing their planned cruise vacations.

Marella Cruises has announced the further cancellation of voyages in Asia and the Middle East for Marella Discovery 2, citing safety concerns for the troubled situation in the Red Sea.

“We’ve been monitoring the situation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden closely over the past 6 months,” the notification email explained. “Unfortunately, the ongoing conflict shows no signs of stabilising and continues to make travelling to and from Asia by sea high risk.”

At the moment, Red Sea tensions include increased pirate activity, including the use of drones, to attack various vessels. This has caused numerous cruise lines to cancel sailings in the region or reroute voyages around the west coast of Africa rather than risk attacks in the Red Sea.

The Red Sea separates northeastern Africa from the Arabian Peninsula, and the Gulf of Aden is the east-west spur between northern Somalia and the south Yemen coast.

Read Also: The Impact of Red Sea Tensions on Cruising

“We have been working behind the scenes to explore alternative routes to Singapore. Sadly, our options are extremely limited, and we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel your cruise – along with the rest of our Asia and Middle East Programme,” the email confirmed.

Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: David Sing)

The impacted voyages are all aboard the 69,130-gross-ton Marella Discovery 2, which is the only ship from Marella Cruises currently offering these destinations. The cruise line’s other ships are all deployed to different regions are are unaffected by the situation in the Red Sea.

In addition to the email notification, the cruise line is reaching out individually with agent phone calls to impacted travelers to ensure they understand the decision and what options are available to them.

These new cancellations are an extension of earlier cancellations for the ship, which already covered all sailings in April 2024. At this time, there are no new itineraries planned for the vessel, but it is possible the cruise line may create substitute options if the ship is unable to sail her planned voyages for the next several months.

Marella Discovery 2 can welcome 1,836 guests aboard at double occupancy, and is also home to approximately 770 international crew members.

While there are no replacement Asia or Middle East cruises available at this time, Marella Cruises is offering guests different options so they can still enjoy an oceangoing getaway.

If travelers rebook on a different Marella Cruises voyage before April 29, 2024, they will receive £200 (approximately $251 USD) per person off that replacement fare. This discount only applies to cruises departing from November 1, 2024 through April 30, 2025, and is only valid for passengers who were originally booked on the now-cancelled sailings.

Marella Discovery 2 Cruise Ship

While Marella Cruises has a small fleet of just five ships, they offer a variety of diverse itineraries to choose from, including destinations in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, the Caribbean, and more, with departures from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Tenerife, and Grand Canaria.

If guests rebook to a new sailing and the fare, after the £200 discount, is cheaper than the original, now cancelled cruise, they will be refunded the difference in price.

Travelers who cannot find a replacement cruise or who may not be comfortable booking another itinerary can simply cancel and will receive a full refund without any cancellation fees. Refunds will be processed back to the original form of payment.

Guests have until April 29, 2024, to make their decision for rebooking. If they have not notified their travel agent or the cruise line of their decision by that date, cancellations and refunds will automatically be processed on April 30.

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