UPDATE: TUI Discovery 2 finally left her berth at about 23:45 local time, having delayed departure to wait for 14 passengers and two crew. The last four passengers arrived at the ship at about 23:30.
Three cruise ships packed with British passengers were in Barcelona today when at least 13 people were killed and 50 were injured in a terrorist attack on the busy Las Ramblas.
P&O Cruises’ Britannia carries 4,324 passengers and 1,398 crew; Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas 2,500 passengers and 859 crew; and Thomson’s TUI Discovery 2 about 2,100 passengers and 750 crew. All were safely accounted for after the attack.
Britannia left Southampton on Sunday and is due to spend tomorrow (Friday) in Cannes. A P&O spokesperson said: “Britannia sailed on time with all safely on board.”
Brilliance is on a cruise from Venice to Rome and is also scheduled to be in Cannes tomorrow. A Royal Caribbean statement said: “Brilliance of the Seas departed Barcelona before the incident occurred. We do not have any ships scheduled to visit Barcelona tomorrow.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Spain and will contact guests or their travel agents should we make any changes to upcoming itineraries. Whether or not we call to Barcelona will always be driven by our concern for the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crewmembers.
“We hope you will join us in keeping all those affected in this tragic incident in Barcelona, as well as the entire country of Spain, in your thoughts and prayers.”
TUI Discovery 2’s passengers and crew were all accounted for, but the vessel’s departure from port was delayed.
A company statement said: “Following the tragic events which have unfolded in Barcelona today, we have accounted for all of our customers and crew who were in the city at the time either as part of an excursion from our nearby Spanish resorts or while our cruise ship TUI Discovery 2 was in port. We have delayed our planned sailing to our next port for this ship until 22:00 this evening.
“We will continue to provide updates on the situation and will offer support to anyone affected. We are also encouraging customers in resort to let family and friends know they are safe and we have set up a dedicated customer care line on 0800 0093836 or 0203 6361997 or for Irish customers on 00 353 1 513 3401.
“We can also confirm that all excursions to Barcelona planned for tomorrow have been cancelled.”
There is no Thomson ship scheduled to visit the city tomorrow, although TUI Discovery will be in Palamos, about 90 minutes away by road.
A statement from Oceania says the company “is monitoring the situation in Barcelona and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected. The safety and security of our guests and crew is our top priority. We have strict safety protocols in place and cooperate with local authorities regarding security matters at the destinations our ships visit. Port and onshore facilities, infrastructure, and passenger security and services in destinations are strictly scrutinised prior to a ship call. In the event of any safety concerns, we have the flexibility to alter our itineraries as needed to avoid areas of concern.
“Please note that there are no plans to alter any itineraries at this moment. We will communicate any further updates, if needed, as appropriate.”
A spokesperson for MSC said that all shore excursions from Barcelona had been cancelled. “The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority and we are working closely with the local authorities to ensure this.”