Royal Caribbean suspends cruise visits to Haiti’s Labadee amid gang violence

By Thomson Reuters Mar 14, 2024 | 10:17 AM

(Reuters) – Royal Caribbean Group has suspended cruise visits to Labadee, a secluded peninsula in Haiti, for the next seven days following months of escalating gang violence in the country, a senior company executive said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

The company will continue the suspension as required with three days advance notice to guests sailing on impacted itineraries, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said.

Violence by powerful armed gangs had gripped Haiti, causing thousands to flee their homes, after anti-government protests broke out early in February.

The violent clashes in the capital had damaged communications and led to prison breaks, culminating in the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry. The Haitian capital was calm following Henry’s announcement.

Royal Caribbean’s global security team “is closely monitoring the evolving situation in Haiti”, a company spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the temporary adjustments to sailings resulted from “an abundance of caution”.

Rival Carnival Corp does not have any cruise stops in Haiti.

(This story has been corrected to say Labadee is a ‘secluded peninsula,’ and not ‘private island,’ in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo; Editing by Devika Syamnath)