ONGOING civil unrest in Egypt has seen a number of cruise ships cancel port calls there for safety reasons.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ ship Astor is one of the latest to change the itinerary on her inaugural cruise to Australia later this year. She will now transit the Suez Canal without stopping at any port there, and have Messina (Sicily) and Athens (Piraeus, Greece) as replacement ports.
Sailing from Civitavecchia (Rome) on November 5, Astor arrives in Fremantle (Western Australia) on December 11, where she will be based for the summer season Down Under, www.cmvaustralia.com
The Red Sea voyage to Petra on Fred Olsen’s Boudicca will call at the Egyptian ports of Sharm el Sheikh and Safaga, but cancel calls to Alexandria and Port Said. Instead, the 30-night round cruise from Southampton on November 18 will visit Ashdod (for Jerusalem) and Haifa in Israel, www.fredolsencruises.com
MSC Cruises has replaced MSC Fantasia’s visit to the Egyptian port of Alexandria with the Greek port of Heraklion on the island of Crete, and make a longer stay in Haifa (Israel), www.msccruises.com.au
Unrest in Turkey and Greece does not appear to be disrupting cruise ships calling to the ports of Istanbul and Athens.
australiancruisingnews.com recently cruised out of Istanbul on Azamara Journey as smoke plumes hung above the city’s Taksim Square in the throes of civil unrest, yet tourists continued to explore the old city area of Sultanhamet where the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, and the Grand Bazaar were crowded, and hop-on, hop-off buses still operated across the city.
At ports of call amid the Greek Islands, it was tourist business as usual, and in the Greek capital, Athens, there was a general strike (tied to the global financial crisis) but most tourists were unaffected, www.azamaraclubcruises.com