Norwegian Cruise Line canceled five sailings in response to the omicron variant of Covid-19, while other brands say they are monitoring the situation.
An NCL spokesperson said that the line canceled five Norwegian Jade cruises that were scheduled to depart from or disembark in South Africa from Dec. 3 through Jan. 26.
Several countries, including the U.S., have implemented varying degrees of travel restrictions on South Africa and other nations in southern Africa. The omicron variant has reportedly caused a surge in cases in South Africa, where it was first detected by scientists.
"The safety of our guests, crew and communities we visit remains our highest priority," the spokesperson said. "Accordingly, we continue to closely monitor the evolving global public health environment and are ready to adapt as needed."
The travel restrictions due to the omicron variant have otherwise not impacted cruise itineraries because most lines do not have sailings scheduled in southern Africa until January at the earliest.
MSC Cruises said that its South Africa sailings are not impacted because they are only open to residents.
"They will operate under the protection of our health and safety protocol and in line with health guidelines as issued by local authorities as they apply to the population for all activities in that country," the line said in a statement.
Azamara, which plans to launch southern Africa sailings in January, said, "We're reviewing the announcement made regarding the new travel limits to South Africa. Should anything change, we will contact booked guests and travel partners immediately."
Crystal Cruises and Silversea, which are launching Africa sailings starting in February, said they are monitoring the situation but have not made any itinerary changes.