(March 1, 5:23 p.m.) -- Costa Cruises has canceled two upcoming sailings of Costa Europa, after the ship crashed into the dock in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday, killing three crewmembers and damaging the ship's hull.
The March 4 and 22 departures of Costa Europa have now been officially canceled. These would have been the final two cruises before the ship is turned over to Thomson Cruises, where it will be renamed Thomson Dream and cater to British travelers. In response to our questions about the impact of the ship damage on Thomson's April sailings (the first for the ship as Thomson Dream), a spokeswoman for the line sent us the following company statement: "At this stage we are still unsure of the extent of the damage caused and if this will have an effect on the ship joining the Thomson fleet."
Costa spokeswoman Dana Dominici also tells us there's no news about the amount of damage to the ship or where repairs will be done. Passengers onboard when the ship crashed have been flown home from Egypt and are receiving refunds and discounts on future cruises. Those booked on the now-cancelled March 4 and 22 cruises are being accommodated on a selection of other sailings; guests choosing not to select another cruise option will receive a full refund.
For a first-hand account of the crash or to join the discussion of the incident, visit our Costa message boards.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor