MSC Cruises is altering an extended cruise from Dubai to avoid calls into mainland China and Hong Kong due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 28-day MSC Bellissima itinerary from the Gulf to Asia will miss Keelung in Taiwan as well as Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

The ports will be replaced by Laem Chabang for Bangkok; Phu My for Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam as well as an extra day in Kobe, Japan.


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The ship will now also call Sir Bani Yas Island in the United Arab Emirates instead of the Gulf destination of Khor Fakkan.

MSC Bellissima is due to depart Dubai on March 21 with calls in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Phuket, Thailand; Langkawi, Penang and Port Klang for Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; and Singapore.

The ship will then sail to Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, an overnight in Kobe and onto its final destination of Yokohama in Japan on April 18.

Passengers who are booked from Hong Kong on April 11 to Yokohama will be able to join the ship earlier from Singapore on April 6 with no additional charges.

MSC Cruises is offering passengers the option to cancel due to the amended port visits.

A spokesperson said that a series of precautionary measures introduced across the fleet on January 24 to combat coronavirus and the decision to alter the ship’s itinerary had been taken “in the best interests of the safety and well-being for MSC Cruises’ passengers and crew”.

The company added: “While there are no cases of coronavirus on board any of MSC Cruises’ ships these measures are additional steps to secure the health and well-being of all guests and crew.”