Over the weekend, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s River Countess was struck by the MSC Opera while the riverboat was docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal in Venice, Italy.
Uniworld’s technical and nautical team inspected the ship and the cruise line has decided to cancel the next six sailings of the River Countess. This includes the “Gems of Northern Italy” cruise-tour dates originally scheduled for June 7, 14, 21 and 28, July 5 and 12, 2019.
The River Countess will make its return July 21, when it sets sail from Venice as part of the July 19 cruise-tour date, commencing in Milan, according to Uniworld president and CEO Ellen Bettridge, who is assuring all impacted customers that a member of the Uniworld’s reservations team will contact them.
“We have begun immediate outreach to our guests and travel advisor partners with this news and are offering options to rebook,” said Bettridge. “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.”
Most passengers had largely disembarked the vessel at the time at the incident and had already headed home. However, 26 passengers were still onboard.
According to MSC Cruises, the MSC Opera was experiencing a mechanical issue and was being guided into the busy canal by tugboats. However, the momentum of the ship could not be stopped in order to prevent the incident from occurring.
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