Cruise Cancellation Fears: Ukraine, Russia, and Trouble Spots
Quite a number of folks have booked ocean and river cruises to the Ukraine and/or Russia in 2014.
With the recent rise in political turmoil, many are very concerned about losing their money if the trip is cancelled, or if they are simply too afraid to take the trip.
This is further exacerbated by the U.S. State Department’s recent Ukraine Travel Warning:
“The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ukraine, and particularly the Crimean Peninsula, due to the potential for instability following the departure of former President Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government.”
So what is a traveler to do? Well, let’s look at your options:
While this is definitely murky territory, a lot will depend on the policies of your cruise company, and the policies of the travel insurance company, if you purchased travel insurance.
I’m Too Afraid to Travel to the Ukraine
In this case, a travel insurance policy would not cover your trip expense. Generally speaking, travel insurance would cover a cancellation in the event of a terrorist attack preventing, or interrupting your trip. However, your fear of social and political unrest would not be covered.
Therefore, if fear is driving your worries about travel to the Ukraine, you have only three options:
- Purchase, or have purchased, a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance policy.
- Start digging into your cruise providers cancellation policies. If your Ukrainian cruise is eminent, call your travel advisor, or cruise line immediately to understand your rights if you instigate a cancellation.
- If you haven’t booked a trip to the Ukraine, don’t go if your gut is warning you otherwise.
My Cruise Line Cancelled my Trip to the Ukraine
While I’ve not seen any Ukrainian cruises cancelled, I’m certain that cruise line owners are getting lots of questions and are debating about what to do in the case that political tensions continue to mount.
If your cruise line cancels your trip, then you have only two options:
- Have purchased a “cancel for any reason” travel insurance policy, and get your money refunded.
- Hope that your particular cruise line will allow you to transfer your cruise dollars to another cruise. They’re not likely to simply refund your money.
As I said earlier, this is all very murky territory and a lot will depend on the fine print of your cruise line, and/or travel insurance company.
While it’s unfortunate that we have to hold such discussions on our website, political unrest is a part of life on this planet, and when it does arise, it’s buyer beware.
Note: our travel insurance policy opinions are based on our understanding of TravelEx Travel Insurance policies, and our conversations with their staff.
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