MSC agrees €2.4m compensation for Venice Cruise Ship Collision

MSC Cruises has agreed €2.4 million in compensation after MSC Opera crashed into a Uniworld-operated river vessel in Venice.

The collision in June 2019 put the smaller River Countess out of service for three months with the loss of 14 cruises.

The incident happened as MSC Opera, built in 2004, was preparing to dock in the Giudecca Canal, the waterway which leads to St Mark’s Square.

Twenty eight of the smaller ship’s passengers were still on board or in the process of disembarking. There were only a few personal injuries, none serious.

Uniworld had to refund and compensate 1,600 customers whose trips were cancelled and repair the River Countess. It also paid compensation, hospital bills and repatriation costs for injured passengers.

Judgment was made by the High Court in London last week against MSC Cruise Management Ltd for €2.4 million plus interest for physical losses.

The European line accepted responsibility for the collision in March 2020 and paid €100,000 salvage and €351,655 costs to have River Countess removed to Trieste for repair, according to the court.

The civil case was heard over two days in July with a judgment made by Justice Andrew Baker last week.

An MSC spokesperson said: “MSC welcomes the judgment of the court in London that confirms and makes effective what the company had already volunteered to pay – and, in part, has already paid – for the vessel’s repair costs.

“For additional losses, MSC has from the very beginning made itself available to cover any demonstrated amounts in connection with this very unfortunate accident.”

Uniworld chief executive Ellen Bettridge said: “For years, the city of Venice has been plagued by massive ocean cruise liners being able to dock in the historic city, causing an eyesore to its beauty.

“It took an incident of this nature to bring about change. It is testament to the quality of engineering of our luxury river vessel and its well-trained crew that no lives were lost.”

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