MSC World Europa ship diverts to Palermo Sicily due to high winds in Malta

   July 3, 2024 ,   Accidents

MSC Cruises redirected the MSC World Europa ship from her planned stop in Malta (Valletta) to Palermo (Sicily Italy) on Thursday due to hazardous wind conditions in Valletta's Grand Harbour. The decision followed a wind warning issued by Malta's Met Office on Tuesday, July 2nd.

High winds pose a significant challenge to cruise ships, given their substantial superstructure. On Tuesday, wind speeds reached force 6 to 7, and while they decreased to force 5 to 6 on Wednesday, they are expected to drop further to force 2 to 3 by Friday morning.

MSC has arranged alternative flights for passengers who were scheduled to join or disembark in Valletta. Passengers were informed in a letter that the diversion was necessary as wind speeds could potentially exceed 30 knots, making port maneuvers unsafe.

A spokesperson for the Transport Ministry said no other cancellations by cruise ships had been made. 

"The ultimate decision to enter port remains with the Master of the vessel, who may consider cancelling the call subject to the circumstances of the case if he deems it unsafe to enter port."