KEY POINTS

  • Tensions involving the U.S. and Iran hasn't deterred cruise line companies from sailing in the Arabian Gulf off Iran
  • Some British passengers don't want to be on ships that might place them in harm's way
  • The cruise lines refuse to refund these people's money

Some of the world's largest cruise lines refuse to refund passengers declining to travel aboard their cruise ships, which will venture close to the southwestern coast of Iran on the Arabian Gulf. For their part, the cruise lines say their intelligence indicates no threats to their cruise ships and its thousands of passengers.

British media is reporting on the plight of British tourists that have booked these cruises but who now have second thoughts about sea voyages that might take them into harm's way. The cruise line companies, however, are making it difficult for passengers that want out to get refunds on their tickets. For example, Royal Caribbean has told its passengers they'll have to cover 90 percent of the costs if they want out.

One concerned passenger expressed anxiety about her cruise ship that will set sail through the Strait of Hormuz on its outbound voyage and return. She sees tensions between Iran and the United States getting worse and doesn't want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

British tabloid, The Sun, said thousands of Britons will set sail on cruise ships this month passing just miles off the coast of Iran. It also says panicked passengers are being refused refunds by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (the world's second largest cruiseline); Cunard Cruises (which operates the Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth); Celebrity Cruises (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Caribbean); and MSC Cruises (the fourth largest cruise company in the world). It said at least seven cruise companies will make 48 sea voyages through the Strait.

The Sun said passengers “begged for a refund amid the possibility of war -- but their requests have been denied.”

Royal Caribbean told Express.co.uk its global security teams continue to monitor the situation in the region. These teams "are working closely with authorities to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and crew, which remains our highest priority. We are communicating directly with our guests and will advise them if any schedule changes become necessary."

On the other hand, MSC Cruises said they're consulting with official travel advisory bodies and are in constant contact with local and international authorities.

"So far, we have not received any intelligence suggesting that there is reason for our itineraries to be altered, or shore excursions to be cancelled," said MSC Cruises.

Cunard Cruises said the itinerary of its Queen Mary 2 will “remain as planned.”

"We continue to monitor the situation closely, taking into account the latest advice from all relevant sources," said Cunard. "Should the situation change for any reason then we will contact our guests to let them know. Our guests and and crew can be assured that their safety is always our first priority."