The current Iran crisis caused by heightened tensions in the Strait of Hormuz is not seen as a threat to cruise ships visiting or sailing from the Arabian Gulf Royal Caribbean told Cruise Arabia & Africa.
“At the present time, RCL Global Security does not assess the recent maritime-related incidents in the Arabian Gulf as indicative of threats to the cruise industry,” a spokesperson for the line said.
The comments came two days after Iran seized Stena Impero, a UK-flagged oil tanker, in the Strait of Hormuz, ratcheting up tensions in the region.
The latest incident came after several oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the UAE and Oman by apparent Limpet mines in May and June, an act that was blamed on Iran by the US, but denied by Tehran.
RCL Global Security assesses various potential threats for Royal Caribbean and the wider cruise sector around the world.
The question of cruise security in Dubai and the Strait of Hormuz is especially important for the cruise line as two of its ships (Jewel of the Seas and Celebrity Constellation) will homeport in the city from November onwards.
While the Iran crisis has sent insurance premiums spiraling for the container shipping and oil tanker sectors, it has apparently had no impact on the cruise sector in the Arabian Gulf thus far.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide our guests with any itinerary updates if necessary,” the spokesperson for Royal Caribbean said.
Nine cruise ships from eight different cruise lines will homeport in Dubai between November, 2019 and March, 2020, all of them visiting Muscat in Oman on weekly itineraries.
In order to reach Muscat, the cruise ships will need to cruise through the increasingly tense Strait of Hormuz twice on each itinerary. That could become a problem if the situation deteriorates.