MSC Cruises is making all efforts to bring its stranded UK passengers home from Europe following the volcanic ash crisis. The first 500 passengers are travelling via coach and ferry and are due to arrive in Dover Port tonight, Tuesday 20th April, having travelled on coach from Venice and Genoa. The coaches will reach British soil having travelled via ferry from Calais to Dover.

Until now, MSC Cruises has put its stranded passengers in hotels and helped guests to find alternative transport home.

More coaches are planned to carry passengers' home over the coming days.

MSC Cruises is working with its passengers who have booked cruises and airfare through MSC Cruises on a case-by-case basis to ensure disembarking guests' safe passage home and embarking guests' passage on their scheduled cruise or on a future cruise.

Giulio Libutti, MSC Cruises Managing Director UK and Ireland said, "Our passengers' safety and well being is of paramount importance to MSC Cruises. We are extremely relieved to have found a solution which allows us to bring our passengers safely home."

Guests who have booked a 'cruise-only' cruise with MSC and purchased an airfare either on their own or through a travel agent should contact their air travel insurance provider and/or travel agent.

Libutti added, "MSC Cruises are actively monitoring the situation and working with passengers who've been impacted. Guests are encouraged to check flight arrivals and departures with their air carrier in order to obtain up-to-the-minute information regarding their flight schedules."

MSC Cruises is maintaining its current sailing schedule with no impact or cancellations to its future cruise schedule.