Russia Authorities Force Cruise Passengers to Stay Onboard

July 30, 2014
silver sea silver discoverer russia

(11:30 a.m. EDT) -- Cruise passengers aboard Silversea's Silver Discoverer on July 28 were denied disembarkation in Provideniya, a scheduled port of call in the Chukotka region of Siberia, Russia.

A statement from the line says Silver Discoverer, which was just added to the Silversea fleet in March of this year, had obtained all necessary clearances, and all passengers and crew had the proper visas and stamps and had been cleared by immigration. However, Russian authorities then ordered everyone to remain onboard.

Silversea spokesman Brad Ball tells Cruise Critic that the current 12-night Seward-to-Nome itinerary has been altered to replace calls in the Chukotka region with stops at Wales and Little Diomede Island, both in Alaska.

The ship's subsequent 14-night cruise, sailing roundtrip from Nome on July 31, will also be impacted.

Ball said no additional information was available about the decision to deny the landing, but an article from the Siberian Times says the order was handed down from Moscow.

It's possible that the directive was a result of strained ties between Russia and the U.S., given the current situation in the Ukraine; the majority of passengers are Americans, according to the Siberian Times article. Oddly, though, Ball says both affected sailings will still make scheduled calls on ports in the Kamchatka region of Russia.

There are reportedly 85 passengers onboard the ship (which has a capacity of 128), but Ball declined to confirm that number.

--By Ashley Kosciolek, Ports & Copy Editor