Middle East Cruise News

Celebrity Constellation barred entry to Port Rashid but Dubai remains open to cruise ships

Dubai’s primary cruise port and the main cruise destination in the Middle East, Port Rashid, remains open to cruise ship traffic despite reports that Celebrity Constellation has been informed of restrictions.

According to users on Cruise Critic’s message boards, Celebrity Cruises has cancelled an upcoming April 1st cruise from Dubai as the ship will not be allowed to make port in the city.

Celebrity Constellation has reportedly cancelled her upcoming April 1st cruise from Dubai

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The cruise line reportedly informed guests booked on the 15-night cruise from Dubai to Rome that the cruise had been cancelled as the “UAE was no longer allowing entry to cruise ships”.

However, with four cruise ships alongside at Dubai Cruise Terminal on Monday (Costa Diadema, Jewel of the Seas, Mein Schiff 5 and Norwegian Jade), the port is evidently still receiving cruise ships for turnaround port calls.

Costa Diadema was one of the ships alongside at the Dubai Cruise Terminal Monday

A user on the message boards, Jayayeff, suggested two reasons for the confusion.

“The first is that the port is only taking cruise ships that have been sailing in UAE waters, the other is that it is open in line with general UAE entry restrictions, i.e. that it is closed to any cruise ship coming from a country on the current ‘restricted entry’ list,” she said.

“This I believe was the issue with the Celebrity ship as it had arrived in Mumbai shortly before their announcement of the Indian port closures yesterday morning and was then unable to return to Dubai because India had been added to the restricted countries list,” she added.

At the time of writing there were three cruise ships in Dubai, with one (Costa Diadema) outbound

Cruise Arabia & Africa has reached out to DP World (the operators of Port Rashid and its Dubai Cruise Terminal) as well as Celebrity Cruises for comment.

The developments come amid the ongoing spread of Coronavirus around the world, with more than 109,000 cases and over 3,500 deaths. There were 59 cases of the virus in the UAE at the time of writing.

The ports of Doha and Bahrain are closed to all cruise ships while Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat appear to be allowing ships to dock on a case-by-case basis.

Several cruise ships have been subject to Coronavirus scares, as well as confirmed outbreaks during the last several weeks, which has put many port authorities on edge – especially when ships are sailing from regions where there are confirmed outbreaks.

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