SOUTH AFRICA: The fourth edition of ‘The Bhangra Boat‘ has been cancelled following the global crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.
MSC Cruises has, following the growing concerns of health and safety during the growing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, have cancelled the upcoming cruise season. All remaining South African cruise departures for the 2019/2020 cruise season ending April 2020 have been suspended. The last cruise departed on 16th March 2020 and will return on 20th March 2020.
Due to the suspension in operations guests that are booked on ‘The Bhangra Boat’ will receive separate communications from the organizer to explain the changes relating to the themed-cruise. Each passenger on the remaining cruises will receive communication in the coming days explaining the additional $50 voucher promised by MSC Cruises.
The official statement read,
In light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing in connection with the COVID-19 virus and in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and government. MSC Cruises has taken the decision to stop all its remaining South African cruise departures for the 2019/2020 cruise season ending April 2020. The last cruise departed on 16th March 2020 and will return on 20th March 2020.
On Sunday evening, 15 March South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa announced a national state of disaster resulting in the closure of the majority of South African ports of entry into the country to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In line with the national crisis the cruise operator has no option but to stop all cruises for the remainder of the season.
Ross Volk, Managing Director of MSC Cruises South Africa, said: “This is not a decision we took lightly but under the current circumstances, the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities ashore – including our employees and their families – must come first. As a family company with over 300 years of maritime tradition, we felt that this was the right decision to make.”
What about passenger refunds?
In light of suspension of the cruise season, customers have been promised a voucher for the value of their current 2019/2020 cruise package, which they can redeem in the upcoming local cruise season in 2020/2021. In addition, they will also receive shipboard credit of $50 per cabin to be used on a cruise in the next season.
For any other expenses related to their cruise booking that they may have incurred, such as flights, hotels, transport, etc. they will need to contact their travel insurance company or supplier directly.
To read the full statement click here