MSC Seaside changed its itinerary and missed two planned stops in the Canary Islands, Santa Cruz de La Palma and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, citing technical problems for the change. Passengers reacted tensely to the situation, interrupting a show in the ship’s theater to demand an explanation when the change was announced.
Ports of call canceled
MSC Seaside is currently making a transatlantic crossing repositioning itself from South America to Europe. The ship left Rio de Janeiro on March 20, 2022 and did not visit any ports as it sailed northeast across the Atlantic.
The ship’s first port of call was to be Santa Cruz de La Palma on March 28, followed by Las Palmas on March 29 and Santa Cruz de Tenerife on March 30.
In a statement provided to passengers, MSC Cruises explained, “We confirm that it was necessary to adjust MSC Seaside’s itinerary for urgent operational reasons beyond our control.”
Instead, it was announced that the ship would no longer visit either Santa Cruz de La Palma or Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The is instead expected to head straight for Las Palmas, extending its stay in the city by one night, before heading to Funchal, Portugal, as scheduled for March 31.
Read more: MSC Cruises confirms that all ships will sail during summer 2022
To compensate for missed ports, MSC has offered onboard credit to passengers, as well as ferry tickets from Las Palmas to Tenerife so guests can still explore this city. The two towns are less than 90 miles apart and a variety of ferries operate in the area, with the fastest option sailing between the two ports in around 2.5 hours.
“We regret the route change and apologize for the inconvenience caused. We do our best to reward our customers with onboard credit and ferry tickets from Las Palmas to Tenerife, so they can visit the city if they wish. We emphasize that the health and safety of our guests and crew were never at risk during this itinerary adjustment,” the statement read.
Although no further explanation was given for the route change, passengers on board reported that the vessel appears to be sailing very slowly, which may indicate propulsion issues. Fuel shortages were another possible explanation, but have not been confirmed.
While cruise passengers on transoceanic voyages expect to enjoy plenty of days at sea, they also look forward to unique ports of call not often found on other itineraries.
A board MSC Seasideguests were frustrated and reacted angrily when the cancellations were announced on Saturday, March 26. According to reports from passengers currently on board the ship, there was a tense break in the performance of South African singer Vick Vicus in the ship’s main theater as passengers protested with chants and shouts.
The ship’s commander, Lauro Maresca, appeared at the show to explain, with the help of a translator to ensure his message was communicated correctly. The explanation was interrupted several times by angry shouts and boos, but at no time was there any violent or physical behavior.
The namesake of MSC Cruises’ Seaside class of ships, MSC Seaside currently carries 5,333 cruise passengers and 1,413 crew on board. After the March 31 stop in Fuchal, Portugal, the ship is also expected to make a stopover in Valencia, Spain, on April 3 as well as Marseille, France, on April 4, before reaching Genoa, Italy, April 5. No other itinerary changes have been announced.