CruiseWhile authorities investigate the accident, MSC Cruises to begin repairing the MSC Opera.

Uniworld ship out of service until July following Venice collision

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MSC Cruses will reimburse passengers for the full cost of their cruise ticket plus any prepaid services.
Uniworld has said that the River Countess will be out of service until July after the vessel was rammed by an MSC cruise ship Sunday while docked in Venice.

Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge said that the next six sailings of the River Countess are cancelled - the "Gems of Northern Italy" cruise-tour dates originally scheduled for June 7, 14, 21 and 28, and July 5 and 12.

The River Countess was docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal in Venice when it was hit by the MSC Opera, a 2,150-passenger ship.

At the time, Uniworld said most of the River Countess' 130 passengers had already disembarked to go home. But 26 remained, and video of the accident showed some fleeing in panic as the Opera barrelled down on the much smaller River Countess.

Authorities say five people were injured in the accident, none apparently seriously.

Bettridge said the River Countess would sail again July 21 on a Venice-Milan itinerary. Uniworld will offer rebooking options to affected customers.

"We appreciate the outpouring of support and well wishes by our guests, travel advisor partners and industry colleagues, and would like to thank everyone for their support during this time," Bettridge said.

MSC said the damage is limited to the outermost part of the hull.

MSC has cancelled the remainder of the current cruise, which departed Bari, Italy, on June 1 for what was supposed to be a seven-day round-trip sailing.

Passengers will be reimbursed for the full cost of their cruise ticket plus any prepaid services.

Source: Travel Weekly USA

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