Passengers angered after ‘International Cup’ cruise drops Qatar prevent

As a dream itinerary for soccer fanatics, the “Arabia & World Cup Voyage” seemed best.

The cruise send Azamara Quest used to be to reach in Qatar at 7.30am on Monday 21 November – the day of the primary International Cup soccer fits involving England and Wales.

England’s first recreation within the debatable event kicks off towards Iran at 1pm that day, whilst Wales play the United States at 7pm.

Passengers had been instructed they’d spend 3 days in Doha, capital of the host country – enabling them to enjoy cultural attractions akin to the lovely new Nationwide Museum and the Museum of Islamic Artwork, in addition to attending International Cup fits.

In contrast to different arrivals to Qatar throughout the four-week lengthy event, they wouldn’t want to pay a fortune for scarce flights and lodging.

Ian Lever, from Bolton, made up our minds it used to be the most productive conceivable birthday reward for his spouse, Amanda. Within the depths of the Covid disaster, when overseas go back and forth used to be banned from the United Kingdom, he booked the voyage for them each thru Consider Cruising – a part of the Dubai-based Emirates Team.

Ms Lever, a remedy trainer, stated: “ This used to be marketed as International Cup voyage and as soccer fanatics we booked and feature purchased 4 numerous tickets.”

The couple controlled to get tickets for each the England and Wales fits on 21 November, in addition to two video games the next day: Denmark v Tunisia and Croatia v Morocco. They spent greater than £700 on tickets.

However lower than 8 weeks prior to the supposed keep in Qatar, the cruise line introduced all of the International Cup part of the Arabia & International Cup voyage were scrapped – whilst the cruise used to be renamed the “Arabia & Dubai Voyage”.

As a substitute of the 3 days in Qatar, an additional day will likely be spent in Abu Dhabi and two extra calls will likely be made at UAE ports.

The preliminary name at Muscat in Oman – now the one port outdoor the UAE on all of the cruise – has been curtailed.

Amanda Lever stated: “All we’ve got been instructed is that the itinerary has been modified.

“When my husband defined the location, Consider Cruising despatched us a kind asking which goes we we had tickets for and at what stadium.

“Nobody has been in contact with any longer knowledge.

“We might be ready to forego Abu Dhabi and keep in Qatar for the 3 days in a lodge if they’d facilitate it.

“Sadly when we will’t get somebody to talk with us it’s tricky to wager what they are going to or would possibly not do.”

Passengers had been instructed in a letter from Azamara: “Commute government in Qatar have not too long ago knowledgeable us that they’re going to be ultimate the port and no longer permitting cruise ships to go into throughout the International Cup video games.

“Moreover, Qatar has equipped logistical knowledge explaining that travellers can most effective input the rustic if they have got tickets to the video games. Which means that it’ll no longer be conceivable so that you can consult with Qatar with out attending a fit.

“For the ones of you who weren’t making plans on going to a International Cup fit, we need to proceed to offer a stupendous Arabian Gulf enjoy and provide the approach to discover freely off the send.

“In consequence, we had been in a position to safe berthing in Abu Dhabi from November 21 to 23 so you’ll be able to enjoy this unique area of the sector with out encountering any go back and forth obstacles.

“Further itinerary changes had been made to different ports of calls to lend a hand facilitate this alteration.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may increasingly reason.”

Azamara says it’s “running with the Qatar government to decide transportation choices to wait a recreation”.

The Unbiased requested Azamara to offer additional info at the cancellation and choices for travellers, however has no longer but had a reaction.

However Tracey James, buyer director of Consider Cruising, stated: “We will ascertain {that a} refund is to be had to any of our consumers who not need to go back and forth because of the itinerary trade at the Azamara Quest ‘Arabia & International Cup’ voyage.

“For the ones consumers who’ve bought International Cup tickets, we’re recently liaising with the group at Azamara to make sure that they’re assisted in attending to and from the occasions. This will likely be coordinated both by means of the cruise line or by means of ourselves, and we will be able to be updating consumers without delay on those preparations in a while.”

The trade in dates for Abu Dhabi – moved from 24-25 November to 21-23 November – additionally signifies that individuals who had deliberate separate tours or theme park tickets are actually left with bookings they can not use.

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