Celebrity Cruises to pull ship from Dubai in 2020

Celebrity Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, has announces plan to pull out of Dubai for its 2020 season.

Celebrity Constellation was due to sail itineraries in Dubai and India in 2020-21 but it will now be redeployed to Tampa Bay, Florida and sail two Caribbean itineraries and another in South America, Travel Weekly UK reported.

Its Dubai and India sailings for this winter will still go ahead, it added.

It quoted Celebrity as saying that it had made its decision to redeploy Constellation due to demand from the trade and guests to return to Tampa and not because of rising shipping tensions in the Arabian Gulf.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the company’s president and chief executive  told the website: “Our guests and travel advisors have been asking us to return to Tampa since our last call there in 2007.”

Last week, P&O Cruises announced it will withdraw from Dubai this winter amid continuing tensions over shipping in the Gulf.

The cruise tourism giant said that following close monitoring of the situation within the Straits of Hormuz, it has cancelled its planned Dubai and Arabian Gulf programme from October until at least March next year.

The move follows a number of British-flagged vessels being seized in Gulf waters recently, raising security fears.

The news is a blow to Dubai which last week announced the conclusion of its 2018/2019 cruise season with a record 51 percent increase in cruise tourists and a 38 percent rise in cruise ship calls.

Dubai welcomed through Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal a total of 846,176 cruise visitors via 152 ship calls during the season, compared to 558,781 visitors onboard 110 ships in 2017/2018.

An additional 211 ship calls are now confirmed for the upcoming 2019/2020 season, a statement said.

Despite P&O Cruises’ concerns, other international cruise liners have said they will continue to operate in the region.

Rival British operator Cunard Line confirmed that its flagship vessel, the Queen Mary 2, has no plans to change its itinerary and still plans to dock in Dubai in 2020.

Italian cruise companies MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises both said they had no plans to adjust their schedules.

A spokesperson for Germany’s AIDA Cruises said its Gulf cruises in Winter 2019/2020, starting from October, “will take place as scheduled” while fellow German company TUI Cruises also said that it had no current plans to make any changes.

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