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Royal Caribbean's 9-month world cruise rerouted amid Red Sea attacks

Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas arrives in Seattle on July 17, 2021
Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas arrives in Seattle on July 17, 2021

Royal Caribbean International is rerouting its nine-month world cruise amid continued attacks in the Red Sea.

The line’s Ultimate World Cruise, currently sailing on the line’s Serenade of the Seas ship, was set to transit through the Suez Canal in May. The vessel will now sail one of two alternate routes – and passengers get a say.

“In keeping with the adventurous spirit of our guests, we are engaging them for their thoughts and preference between two alternative itineraries that will take them on an epic adventure to Africa,”  a Royal Caribbean spokesperson told USA TODAY in an emailed statement. “They will receive compensation for the adjustment, and guests who prefer to not sail on the updated itinerary will receive a full refund and support for their travel arrangements.”

The spokesperson did not immediately respond to an additional question about how much passengers would be compensated.

The news comes as luxury line Crystal made similar changes to avoid the Red Sea, canceling a March 27 cruise on Crystal Symphony from Mumbai to Piraeus. The line is also rerouting multiple segments of Crystal Serenity’s 2024 world cruise, though the sailing’s length and its June 8 end date will remain the same.

“We are in the process of notifying all impacted guests on both ships,” Crystal said in a statement on Friday. “We greatly appreciate our guests and crew for their understanding and patience during this process.”

Was your cruise itinerary changed?: Here's what to do next

The Iranian-backed Houthis have launched repeated attacks on commercial and naval vessels in the Red Sea amid the Israel-Hamas war. The Yemen-based militants have claimed they are showing solidarity with the Palestinians, but experts say there is more to their motivations.

Many other lines, including Virgin Voyages, MSC Cruises and Silversea Cruises, have recently canceled or rerouted sailings away from the area.

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at ndiller@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Red Sea crisis: Royal Caribbean alters 9-month world cruise itinerary