Uniworld sues MSC over Venice collision

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is suing MSC Cruise Management Ltd. for nearly $13 million in damages it says it incurred after one of MSC’s large ocean ships slammed into the River Countess while it was docked in Venice in June.

In a press release Tuesday, Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge said the company filed the lawsuit after extensive conversations with MSC proved unproductive.

“We are extremely disappointed with the unprofessional manner in which MSC has decided to ignore the gravity of the situation, which has disrupted our guests, our partners and our team,” said Bettridge. “Aside from the severe damage to our ship [River Countess], we were forced to cancel 14 voyages, frustrating our guests and travel partners during the peak summer season.”

Uniworld estimates its losses to be in excess of 11.5 million Euros, or $12.74 million. That number, the company said, includes passenger reimbursement, ship damage, lost revenue and the protection of travel agent commissions.

“We do not like to litigate but have been compelled to do so based on the stonewalling and delays by MSC and its representatives — even after receiving a letter of guarantee by their own insurance agency, West of England,” Bettridge said. “We expect more and better from a fellow member of the cruise industry and regret having to go to court to seek fitting remedy.”

MSC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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