AIDA Cruises and Princess Cruises are among a spate of cruise lines that have pulled out of the Russian market amid the Ukraine crisis.
Russia on February 24th invaded Ukraine, resulting in an unprecedented global backlash that has seen punitive sanctions imposed on the country, crashing the economy, and making it near-impossible for US and European-based companies to do business there.
“In light of the recent attacks by Russia in Ukraine, Princess Cruises is modifying itineraries on 24 cruises that call in Saint Petersburg, Russia with alternative ports,” Princess Cruises said in a release.
The alternative ports will vary by itinerary, but will include popular destinations such as Stockholm in Sweden (overnight call); Visby in Sweden; and Gdansk (Gdynia) in Poland.
“Guests can remain booked on their long-awaited cruises, and have the opportunity to visit medieval architecture, world famous landmarks and natural beauty on these Northern Europe cruises,” the press release added.
The changes affect the itineraries of three ships: Enchanted Princess, Island Princess, and Sky Princess from April to September, 2022.
“The safety and security of guests is the company’s highest priority, and Princess will continue updating impacted guests and travel advisors as more information is available,” the cruise line said.
“Princess will protect travel agent commission on bookings that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success,” it added.
AIDA Cruises has also announced the replacement ports to which it will be sailing.
AIDAdiva, AIDAmar, AIDAnova and AIDAvita will see calls in Russia cancelled and replaced by destinations such as Riga (Latvia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Oslo (Norway) or Visby (Gotland/Sweden).
AIDAdiva will call at the Latvian capital Riga or Copenhagen instead of Saint Petersburg on its seven-day Baltic Sea roundtrip from Warnemünde starting between May 14th and October 8th, 2022.
The ship’s May 7th, 2022 cruise will include a visit to Hamina in southern Finland.
AIDAnova’s 7-night roundtrip Baltic cruises from Kiel departing between May 14th and October 15th, 2022 will feature an extended stay in the Estonian capital Tallinn, as well as visits to Kristiansand, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The itineraries will also feature a two-day stay in Oslo.
AIDAmar’s 10-day Baltic cruises will call at the port of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland and the Latvian capital Riga instead of Saint Petersburg, while the first sailing of the AIDAvita will depart on July 24th, 2022.