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Denmark issues reminder of Crimea cruise call prohibition

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Hansa Touristik's Ocean Majesty called Yalta last November, but Black Sea has been dropped from this year's itinerary

JUNE 19, 2015 — Every cruise line that anyone has ever heard of has already stopped calling Crimean ports since the Russian annexation of the area.

Be that as it may, the Danish Maritime Authority has warned that EU sanctions in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol include a general prohibition on services related to tourism activities in Crimea and Sevastopol. This means that cruise ships must not call at or enter into Sevastopol, Kerch, Yalta, Theodosia, Evpatoria, Chernomorsk and Kamysh-Burun

Among cruise ships that have stopped Crimean calls are P&O Cruises and Cunard which canceled all Black Sea port visits in 2015, citing safety and security concerns. Other lines, including Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea and Windstar — have replaced Ukraine port stops with calls in Turkey, Romania, Georgia and Bulgaria.

Though Russian media report that the cruise ship Ocean Majesty made a call last November in Yalta, the ship’s operator, Germany’s Hansa Touristik, has dropped the Black Sea from this year’s Mediterranean itinerary for the ship.

The prohibition against port calls became effective in December 2014.

The Danish Maritime Authority notes that the EU prohibition applies to cruise ships associated with an EU Member State. This means:

  • Ships flying the flag of an EU Member State
  • Ships owned and operated by an EU shipowner
  • Ships under the overall responsibility of an EU operator

In case of emergencies, cruise ships are permitted to call at or enter into ports on the Crimea peninsula. It must be possible to justify this as being for reasons of navigational safety. As something new, an obligation has been introduced to inform the Danish Maritime Authority or equivalent authority in another EU Member State if this exception is used. The report must be made within five working days after the call. .

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