TUNISIA is off the international cruise map in the wake off a terrorist attack that killed 17 passengers off two cruise ships on a shore excursion to the capital Tunis.
MSC Cruises immediately cancelled all port calls to Tunisia for the foreseeable future after 12 of her guests on MSC Splendida were killed when gunmen opened fire on tourists at the Bardo National Museum. Another 13 guests from the ship were also injured.
Five passengers from Costa Cruises Costa Fascinosa also died in the attack and 8 were injured.
In coming months four of MSC Cruises 12 ship fleet will be affected by the cancellations.
MSC Splendida will call at Valletta (Malta) instead; MSC Fantasia will call at Palma de Mallorca (Mallorca); MSC Preziosa will call at Cagliari (Sardinia); and MSC Divina will call at Valletta (Malta) a day earlier, and then sail to the island of Corfu (Greece).
Tunisia is the northernmost African nation and was becoming increasingly popular on cruise itineraries, especially with an increasing number of seasoned cruise passengers always anxious to visit ports that are off-the-beaten track.
australiancruisingnews.com expects it will be some time before cruise ships are back to Tunisian ports as major cruise lines have all announced that they have cancelled port calls to that country.