HomeWorldStrong winds force cruise ship to skip Malta port call

Strong winds force cruise ship to skip Malta port call

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A cruise ship that was meant to make a port call in Malta was diverted to Palermo on Thursday after strong winds made manoeuvres in Grand Harbour hazardous.

MSC Cruises confirmed that the MSC World Europa had to forgo a planned stop in Malta after Malta’s Met Office issued a wind warning on Tuesday.  Flights have been laid on for passengers who were meant to join the cruise from Malta, and others who were due to disembark here.

Cruise ships are particularly susceptible to the wind because of their high superstructure. 

Wind speeds reached force six and seven at times on Tuesday, but calmed to between force five and force six on Wednesday. They are due to mellow to force two and three by Friday morning. 

The MSC World Europa. Photo: MSC CruisesThe MSC World Europa. Photo: MSC Cruises

Passengers on board the vessel were told in a letter that the ship needed to divert because the wind could potentially exceed 30 knots, which would render manoeuvres at the port unsafe.

A spokesperson for the Transport Ministry said that no other cancellations by cruise ships had been made. 

“The ultimate decision to enter port remains with the Master of the vessel, who may consider cancelling the call subject to the circumstances of the case if he deems it unsafe to enter port.”

The Malta-registered MSC World Europa is 333.3 meters long (215,863 gross tons) making it MSC’s largest vessel. It is the eighth-largest cruise ship in the world. 

The vessel largely follows a Mediterranean route, calling at several Italian ports as well as Malta, Barcelona and Marseille. 

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