Update: Cruise Lines Vigilant After Mumbai Attacks
November 27, 2008
(10 a.m. EDT)-- Following the devastating terror attacks in Mumbai over the past 24 hours, cruise lines due in the port are closely monitoring the situation.
Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas is on a 27-night cruise from Rome to Singapore and is due in the Indian port on Sunday and at this point, the line has issued a statement saying "We will continue to closely monitor the situation, working with our law enforcement and intelligence agency contacts. Once we have a good assessment of the current situation in Mumbai – as well as a good assessment of expected conditions in Mumbai on Sunday – we can make informed decisions about how best to proceed."
Seabourn Spirit and Azamara Quest are due in on December 7 and Oceania's Nautica has a planned call on December 9. As yet, none of these lines have cancelled a call to the port but each has said they will be watching the situation following the terror attacks on Wednesday.
Gunmen terrorised the city of Mumbai, leaving more than 100 people dead and 300 injured. It is believed that American and British nationals were targeted. Popular tourist spots had also been targeted including two hotels -- Taj Mahal Hotel and the Oberoi Trident Hotel. The BBC reported this morning that 200 guests are still trapped in the Oberoi hotel.
For cruise passengers, Mumbai is often featured on world cruises and repositioning cruises. For example, Oceania's Nautica set off from Rome on November 18 and is bound for Singapore and Seabourn Spirit is on a 32-day cruise from Dubai to Hong Kong.
Cruise calls to Mumbai are at their peak in March and April 2009 with lines such as Cunard, Fred. Olsen, Silversea, P&O, Holland America, Regent, Princess, Saga and Seabourn all with ships scheduled in port.
Mumbai is India's financial and fashion capital, and the city is also home to Bollywood -- the country's booming film industry.
Meanwhile, unrest is continuing in Bangkok -- both the domestic and the international airport have been shut down due to anti-government protesters. As yet, there are no cruises impacted -- Asia-based Star Cruises confirmed today that all of its sailings are continuing as usual.
Should the chaos continue into the future, it could impact travellers who have planned Asia cruises -- Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess and Costa Cruises' Costa Allegra will be calling at the port in February 2009.
We will of course keep you posted on the situation as we learn more.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor