The Scottish government has said the rise of the new Delta variant of Covid-19 contributed to its decision to deny MSC Virtuosa the right to dock in Greenock on Wednesday (9 June).
A spokesperson said the decision had been informed by "the combination of risks that exist between both cruises and the wider travel context".
These, the spokesperson said, included the current trajectory of Covid infections and the "unknowns around the new Delta variant", as well as the "potential for high risk of uncontained rapid transmission on the cruise".
The decision has effectively banned all cruise calls in Scotland until the entire country can be placed under the government’s lowest Covid protection level, including that of Virtuosa scheduled for Wednesday.
The government said it "fully understood" the impact the current restrictions were having on domestic cruising.
"We explained our concerns about the transmission risks posed by cruise vessels in an update to industry on the 24 May and confirmed that we would clarify the position in June," said the spokesperson.
“Following extensive engagement with stakeholders, we have now confirmed that domestic cruises can restart when all of Scotland reaches level one and we have made industry, including the operator, aware of this."