Cruise lines scrap Russian, Ukrainian ports from 2022 itineraries following invasion

Cruise lines are scrapping Russian and Ukrainian ports from their itineraries after Russian troops launched an attack on Ukraine.

Three cruise lines owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings – Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises – announced Thursday that they would adjust their itineraries and remove calls to Russian ports in 2022.

"The safety and security of our guests, crew and communities we visit is our top priority," reads an emailed statement from Norwegian Cruise Line. "We are currently working to confirm replacement ports and will advise all impacted guests and travel advisors as soon as possible."

CEO Frank Del Rio noted Thursday morning that the company had no vessels scheduled to enter the region until late May.

Viking and Atlas Ocean Voyages are also adjusting their itineraries.

Which sailing itineraries are changing after Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Norwegian Cruise Line is removing planned stops in St. Petersburg from its 2022 sailings "due to the escalated situation between Russia and Ukraine."

Sister brand Regent Seven Seas Cruises plans to remove the Solovetsky Islands, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk and St. Petersburg, Russia, from its 2022 sailings, along with Odesa, Ukraine.

Oceania Cruises, another Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings brand, said it too would remove Russian and Ukrainian ports from its 2022 sailings, according to an emailed statement.

All three companies said they are working to confirm replacement ports and will advise impacted guests and travel advisers "as soon as possible."

Atlas Ocean Voyages, a luxe expedition cruise line based in Florida, is adjusting two of its late-summer Baltic itineraries. Calls to St. Petersburg will be replaced by destinations in Finland and Estonia.

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"With unrest in Eastern Europe, we have adjusted our voyages," President Alberto Aliberti said in a statement. "Guests will enjoy these unique and rarely visited destinations and immersive shore excursions to take in the rich cultures and breathtaking vistas of the Baltic."

Viking, which operates both ocean and river cruises, has canceled all 2022 departures from its Kyiv, Black Sea and Bucharest itinerary.

"We are currently evaluating itineraries that call in Russia in 2022, which will require modifications," according to a Viking statement. "When necessary changes are made, Viking Customer Relations will notify all impacted guests and their travel advisors."

Carnival Corp. spokesperson Roger Frizzell said the company is monitoring the situation. The company operates a number of cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line.

Expedition cruise line Hurtigruten Expeditions has just one sailing to Arctic Russia scheduled for 2022. Spokesperson Rune Thomas Ege said Friday the company is "closely monitoring the situation in Eastern Europe and Russia."

United Kingdom-based cruise line Saga has altered its itinerary for a cruise to the Black Sea, which had planned to make a stop in Odesa, Ukraine.

"We are now looking at the impact of the latest developments on our Baltic cruises later this year which were due to call in at St. Peterburg," a Friday statement from the company reads. "We will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary make further alterations to our itineraries whilst still ensuring the best experience for our guests."

Small-ship cruise line Windstar Cruises has canceled all sailings and cruise tours in the Black Sea region and will replace calls in St. Petersburg for non-Russian ports in its Baltic itineraries.

What's the impact on cruise bookings?

Norwegian CFO Mark Kempa said readjusting itineraries wouldn't have a "huge impact" on the company. Roughly 5% of its total capacity calls on St. Petersburg during the summer season, or about 50 sailings total.

"There's plenty of other ports in the Scandinavian region that we have the ability to call on," he said during a Thursday earnings call.

Kempa added that it's "way too early" to say whether the conflict will have an impact on booking trends but hadn't noticed any "red flags" as of Thursday morning.

"You'll probably see a little bit of slowdown here and there around the margin. That's normal. But it's definitely too early to indicate if there's going to be any longer-term effects," he said. "This is affecting a very small portion of Europe. And there's a lot of other areas that we can operate in."

A spokesperson for the Cruise Lines International Association said the organization is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and noted that most itineraries with stops in impacted areas are not scheduled to begin until late spring or summer.

"We share with the world the concerns over the conflict in the region," spokesperson Laziza Lambert told USA TODAY via email. "As always, the safety and security of guests, crew and the communities we visit are of utmost importance and continue to be the criteria on which our cruise line members base their itinerary decisions."

CLIA encourages travelers who have booked sailings in the area to check with their travel advisor or cruise line for more information on their cruise's status.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cruise lines to avoid Russian ports after Russian invasion of Ukraine