Uniworld cancels six cruises of riverboat rammed by MSC ship

This file photo shows the elegant interiors of River Countess, which is due to resume sailings from Venice on July 21, following repairs This file photo shows the elegant interiors of River Countess, which is due to resume sailings from Venice on July 21, following repairs PHOTO: Uniworld

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection canceled six River Countess sailings after the vessel was struck by MSC Opera while alongside in Venice on Sunday.

The impacted 'Gems of Northern Italy' cruise-tour dates are June 7, 14, 21 and 28, and July 5 and 12.

Sailings to resume July 21

River Countess is scheduled to make its return July 21 when it sails from Venice as part of the July 19 tour date, commencing in Milan.

Uniworld President and CEO Ellen Bettridge said all impacted customers will be contacted by a member of the Uniworld team.

'We have begun immediate outreach to our guests and travel advisor partners with this news and are offering options to rebook,' Bettridge said.

Outpouring of well-wishes

'We appreciate the outpouring of support and well-wishes by our guests, travel advisor partners and industry colleagues, and would like to thank everyone for their support during this time,' she added.

River Countess was docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal when it was rammed by the MSC Cruises ship, which had suffered a technical malfunction. At the time of the incident, only 26 of the riverboat's 130 passengers remained on board, with most having already disembarked and transferred to flights home.

Four passengers on River Countess sustained minor injuries.

Uniworld did not detail damage to the vessel or where repairs would take place, but on Sunday the major and prefect of Venice said in a joint statement that River Countess reported a small leak at the waterline that did not compromise safety.

Posted 03 June 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review