Royal Caribbean joins rivals in canceling 2022 sailings to Russia

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FILE PHOTO: Symphony of the Seas during its world presentation ceremony, berthed at Malaga port

– Cruise operators Royal Caribbean Group and Viking Cruises canceled sailings to Russia on Wednesday, joining their rivals and many Western brands in suspending operations in the country after its invasion of Ukraine.

Celebrity Cruises, owned by Royal Caribbean, said it was removing Russian port city St. Petersburg from upcoming itineraries, adding that it would visit other Scandinavian ports in its place.

Silversea Cruises also said it would re-route summer voyages scheduled to stop in Russia and Ukraine, while Royal Caribbean International said it had canceled its visits to St. Petersburg on all its summer itineraries.

The changes to itineraries mark yet another blow to the recovery of the U.S. cruise industry, after the Omicron coronavirus variant earlier this year forced operators to cancel sailings.

Other major operators MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd also recently modified their itineraries, while Carnival Corp said it would follow suit.

Several Westerns brands, from Boeing Co to Ford Motor Co, have joined in on an unprecedented wave of corporate actions against Moscow, although Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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