Tui cruise customers say they're forced to go to 'Coronavirus Land'

‘Send us in the opposite direction!’ Tui cruise customers claim they are being forced to holiday in ‘Coronavirus Land’ after the firm refused refunds for trip to Thailand and Singapore

  • Tui’s Marella Cruises trip will also stop in Singapore, Cambodia and Malaysia
  • Some customers are concerned the ship will visit ports that have closed down 
  • But Tui has reassured customers that there are no changes to the itinerary 

Tui customers claim they are being forced to holiday in ‘Coronavirus Land’ after the travel firm refused to change or refund cruises to the Far East.

Customers set to go on Tui’s Marella Cruises trip to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore in the coming weeks have pleaded with Tui to either refund their money or ‘send them on a cruise in the opposite direction’.

Some are concerned that the ship will be visiting ports that have been closed down due to the outbreak, but Tui has said that this isn’t the case and that all the stops on the itinerary are open to visiting ships.

Tui customers claim they are being forced to holiday in ‘Coronavirus Land’ after the travel firm refused to change or refund its Marella Cruises itineraries to the Far East

Concerned holidaymaker Trevor Hoyle

The travel firm has today said that the £1,200 cruise will ‘sail as planned’.

In a series of panicked tweets, one customer, Trevor Hoyle, from Bury, Greater Manchester, hit out at Tui and the cruise company it uses, Iglu.

He said: ‘Iglu says you can cancel if you like and lose all your money.

‘This is the response to a cruise going into Coronavirus Land. Customer care, what happened to that?

‘Tui and Iglu refuse to tell me what they intend to do with the cruise Colours of the Far East.

‘Coronavirus is rife down there, but these two travel agents are still not offering any alternative.

Some customers pleaded with Tui on Twitter to refund their cruise or send them on a different one


At the last count a total of 1,098 cases of the COVID-19 virus had been diagnosed outside of mainland China. Six of these had resulted in death.

The geographical breakdown is as follows:

  • Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off Yokohama, Japan: 621 cases total, first case February 1
  • Singapore: 81 total, first case Jan 23
  • Japan: 74, first Jan 16
  • Hong Kong: 62, first Jan 22
  • South Korea: 51, first Jan 20
  • Thailand: 35, first Jan 13
  • Malaysia: 22, first Jan 25
  • Taiwan: 22, first Jan 21
  • Vietnam: 16, first Jan 24
  • Germany: 16, first Jan 27
  • Australia: 15, first Jan 25
  • US: 15, first Jan 20
  • France: 12, first Jan 24
  • Macau: 10, first Jan 22
  • UK: 9, first Jan 31
  • UAE: 9, first Jan 29
  • Canada: 8, first Jan 25
  • India: 3, first Jan 30
  • Philippines: 3, first Jan 30
  • Italy: 3, first Jan 30
  • Russia: 2, first Jan 31
  • Spain: 2, first Jan 31
  • Iran: 2, first Feb 19
  • Belgium: 1, first Feb 4
  • Sweden: 1, first Jan 31
  • Finland: 1, first Jan 29
  • Nepal: 1, first Jan 24
  • Sri Lanka: 1, first Jan 27
  • Cambodia: 1, first Jan 27
  • Egypt: 1, first Feb 14

‘[They] want to send my cruise to Coronavirus Land. Their reply “you can cancel, but you will lose all your money”. Customer care – I don’t think so.’ 

He later added: ‘Tui and Iglu have finally told us to go on the cruise to Coronavirus Land after two weeks of “we will do all we can for you”, now it’s go or lose all your money.

‘We booked a cruise months before coronavirus existed, no alternative. Shame on you.

‘[They] say there is nothing they can do, the cruise to Coronavirus Land is good to go, but they are giving the ship a deep clean.’

Another pending passenger, Gary Howell, wrote on Twitter: ‘Are you really still intending to cruise to the Far East?

‘All of the itinerary for the Marella cruise in March is to areas where the coronavirus exists?

‘Spend three days trying to get somewhere with the customer services for cruises.

‘Being fobbed off. What’s happening Tui?’

There have been various reports of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

A Tui UK spokesperson said: ‘The safety and well-being of customers and crew is always our highest priority. 

‘We would like to reassure customers due to embark Colours of the Far East that we have no reported cases of Covoid 19 (coronavirus) on board. 

‘As a precautionary measure, we have implemented increased sanitation and hygiene levels, and to help us ensure the health and safety of our guests and crew, Marella Cruises will deny boarding at vessel check-in to anyone who is unable to complete the screening. 

‘Our policy is in line with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and other cruise lines and normal terms and conditions apply.’ 

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