- Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection sues MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd. for €11.5m.
- MSC Opera rammed River Countess in Venice last June.
- Suit filed after extensive conversations with MSC about unproductive compensation.
- Severe damage to the ship [River Countess] and were forced to cancel 14 voyages.
- Four passengers suffered minor injuries and River Countess was taken out of service for repairs that stretched longer than expected.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection sues MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd. for €11.5m over Venice ship ramming, reports Seatrade Cruise News.
What is the issue?
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is suing MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd. for €11.5m in damages it said it incurred.
MSC Opera rammed River Countess in Venice last June.
CEO and President Ellen Bettridge said Uniworld filed the suit after extensive conversations with MSC on compensations.
14 voyages canceled
Bettridge said, “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.”
Bettridge added that apart from the severe damage to their ship [River Countess], they were forced to cancel 14 voyages.
Loss around €11.5m
Uniworld estimated losses in excess of €11.5m. This 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.
MSC Cruises response
“We expect more and better from a fellow member of the cruise industry and regret having to go to court to seek a fitting remedy.”
Cannot comment further?
MSC Cruises said it has been “working constructively with all parties and their legal advisors since shortly after the incident, and has been facilitating a close cooperation between those involved including their insurers. As liability in this matter is still under investigation by the responsible authorities it is inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”
The company added it is “committed to continuing to cooperate fully in order to resolve this matter.”
On June 2, River Countess was docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal when it was struck by MSC Opera after the ship lost control while maneuvering alongside.
At the time, Uniworld said four passengers suffered minor injuries. The incident occurred after most guests aboard the 130-passenger vessel had disembarked for flights home.
Repairs took longer than expected. River Countess was taken out of service for repairs that stretched months longer than initially projected. The vessel resumed sailing Sept. 8.
According to Uniworld, nearly 1,600 guests were impacted over the course of several months. The incident remains under investigation.
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Source: Seatrade Cruise News