Uniworld is suing MSC for US$13 million in damages following an incident in 2019 where Uniworld’s River Countess was hit by the much larger cruise ship MSC Opera while docked at the San Basilio Cruise Terminal in Venice, Italy.

Some Uniworld guests suffered minor injuries and the crash forced Uniworld to cancel 14 sailings.

Uniworld estimates its losses )that include passenger reimbursement, ship damage, lost revenue and the protection of Travel Agent commissions) to be in excess of 11.5 million Euros.

Uniworld’s CEO Ellen Bettridge has released a statement on the lawsuit, saying they’re “extremely disappointed with the unprofessional manner in which MSC has decided to ignore the gravity of the situation”.

The River Countess

She commented on the way the crash disrupted Uniworld’s guests, partners and team, causing severe damage to River Countess, and forcing them to cancel 14 voyages and “frustrating our guests and travel partners during the peak summer season”.

“We do not like to litigate but have been compelled to do so based on the stonewalling and delays by MSC and its representatives – even after receiving a letter of guarantee by their own insurance agency, West of England,” Ellen Bettridge commented.


Ellen Bettridge.

“We expect more and better from a fellow member of the cruise industry and regret having to go to court to seek a fitting remedy.”

Meanwhile, MSC has released a statement of its own, claiming the line has bee working “constructively with all parties and legal advisors since shortly after the incident”.

“As liability in this matter is still under investigation by the responsible authorities, it is inappropriate to comment further at this stage,” MSC said.