Monday, January 25, 2016

Cruise Lines to Bypass Turkish Ports

Cruise lines are altering their itineraries and dropping Turkish ports in their Eastern Mediterranean itineraries following the recent terrorist attack in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square and other unrest in Turkey. Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises have all announced plans to call elsewhere—substituting Athens, Greece and Greek Isles seems to be the most popular alternative. Additionally, Celebrity Cruises has canceled overnight calls in Istanbul and will add other ports as replacements.

The most recent announcement comes from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings:
"At Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, our primary concern is to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew. Due to recent events in Turkey, we are suspending all calls to the country through 2016 across all NCLH brands. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make future itinerary adjustments as appropriate. We have begun the process of informing guests booked on the affected cruises of the itinerary changes and will update the respective brand websites with revised voyage information."
Other cruise lines are closely monitoring the events in Turkey and will make itinerary changes as necessary. Turkish ports are some of the most historically important in the world and, hopefully, the situation in the country will improve and ships will begin calling there again.

Photo © Linda Coffman,

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