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"Do not travel": Australians urged to avoid Russia, cruise lines amend itineraries

The Federal Government has issued a "do not travel" warning, urging Australians not to travel to Russia as the United States and Europe move to isolate the country.

The Federal Government has issued a “do not travel” warning, urging Australians not to travel to Russia as the United States and Europe move to isolate the country.

Australians are being urged to leave Russia immediately and avoid travelling to the country, due to the security environment and military conflict with Ukraine.

Smartraveller currently reads “if you’re in Russia, leave immediately using the limited commercial options available or private means if it’s safe to do so. The security situation could deteriorate further with little warning. Remain vigilant and avoid any protests or demonstrations.”

The European Union has already imposed a ban on Russian planes, shutting down airspace for Russian-owned or controlled aircraft in retaliation for Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to a report by ABC, analysts say Western sanctions to block selected Russian banks from an international payments system – as well as an EU move to ban transactions made by Russia’s central bank – could cause financial turmoil in the country in the coming weeks.

Many cruise operators are cancelling trips to both Ukraine and Russia in light of the situation.

So far, we’ve had notification of the following amendments:

  • Scenic has cancelled all 2022 river cruises in Russia.
  • Viking River Cruises has cancelled its 2022 Kyiv, Black Sea and Bucharest departures.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is axing St. Petersburgh from all 2022 itineraries.
  • MSC Cruises has suspended calls to St Petersburg. Baltic summer 2022 itineraries call at alternative ports in Stockholm, Helsinki or Tallinn.
  • Windstar Cruises has cancelled all sailings in the Black Sea region and will swap out calls in St. Petersburg with a non-Russian port.
  • Carnival Corp. is currently modifying itineraries, replacing stops in St. Petersburg calls with alternative ports.

Qantas on Sunday announced it would change the flight path of its direct Darwin to London services with the new route flying over the middle east and southern Europe rather than over Russia or Ukraine. The revised routes are expected to add around an hour to the journey.

If you have significant concerns for your welfare, or that of another Australian, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.