The current Iran crisis and heightened tensions in the Strait of Hormuz is not seen as a threat to cruise ships visiting or sailing from the Arabian Gulf according to Royal Caribbean.
The cruise line’s security officials, whom asses various potential threats for the cruise sector around the world, do not see Iran as a threat, according to a spokesperson.
“At the present time, RCL Global Security does not assess the recent maritime-related incidents in the Arabian Gulf as indicative of threats to the cruise industry,” a spokesperson for the line told Cruise Arabia & Africa.
The comments came two days after Iran seized Stena Impero, a UK-flagged oil tanker, in the Strait of Hormuz, ratcheting up tensions in the region.
The latest incident came after several oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the UAE and Oman by apparent Limpet mines in May and June, an act that was blamed on Iran by the US, but denied by Tehran.
While the incidents have sent insurance premiums spiraling for the container shipping and oil tanker sectors, it has apparently had no impact on the cruise sector in the Arabian Gulf.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide our guests with any itinerary updates if necessary,” the spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said.
While these incidents have come outside the Arabian Gulf cruise season, Dubai is preparing for its biggest cruise program on record, which will begin in November and last until March next year.
Nine cruise ships from eight different cruise lines will homeport in Dubai and sail roundtrip cruises from the city to destinations across the Gulf, primarily Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, and Khasab and Muscat in Oman.
In order to reach Muscat, the cruise ships will need to cruise through the increasingly tense Strait of Hormuz twice on each itinerary. That could become a problem if the situation deteriorates.
Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas is due to spend the coming cruise season in Dubai, while sister brand Celebrity Cruises will also be returning to the region with Celebrity Constellation sailing out of Dubai.
Categories: Middle East Cruise News