Cruise lines alter Israel itineraries amid ongoing conflict

Photo from above of the southern coast of old city of Akko, Israel at sunset.

Following attacks by the militant group Hamas on the Gaza Strip, an array of changes have been made by companies across the travel industry to keep away from the conflict.

Many international airlines and tour groups have altered their operations while cruise lines across the globe have also acted accordingly.

MSC Cruises

The upcoming call of MSC Musica at the port of Haifa on Thursday 12 October will be cancelled. The ship will now sail to Limassol, Cyprus on 10 October and as such the call to Kusadasi, Turkey will be cancelled. The ship will then call Antalya, Turkey on 12 October and will then continue on her normal planned itinerary.

The call of MSC Musica to Haifa on 19 and 26 October will be replaced by Rhodes and 2 November will be replaced with Marmaris, Turkey.

The call to Haifa by MSC Sinfonia planned on 16 October will be replaced with the port of Bodrum, Turkey whilst the future calls are being reviewed and we will update guests accordingly. The safety of our guests and crew is always our upmost priority and in an evolving situation such as this we will modify our itineraries as needed.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Gem did not call to Ashdod, Israel on 8 October and the ship spent the day at sea. The vessel continued its originally scheduled call to Limassol, Cypress on 9 October.

Norwegian Jade will cancel its planned calls to Ashdod and Haifa, Israel on 11 and 12 October and instead will visit Bodrum, Turkey on 10 October followed by Marmaris, Turkey on 11 October and a sea day on 12 October.

Norwegian Jade (Source: NCL)

Oceania Cruises

Oceania’s Nautica ship left Israel on Saturday one day quicker than planned.

The line’s Sirena vessel’s planned stops in Haifa and Ashdod during its Oct. 14 voyage from Piraeus to Istanbul will be replaced by Santorini, Heraklion and Mykonos in Greece.

A spokesperson said that the cruise line is “in the process of reviewing itinerary options” for its Marina ship’s 1 November, which is currently planned to spend two days in Israel.

Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas has decided to amend Seven Seas Voyager’s 3 October and 15 October itineraries and replace the previously scheduled calls to Israel, according to a spokesperson for the line.

The ship will skip its planned stop in Haifa on 14 and 15 October, instead sailing to Istanbul. The 15 October sailing will begin in Istanbul rather than Haifa and sail directly to Cairo.

Royal Caribbean 

Royal Caribbean has cancelled several itineraries onboard the Rhapsody of the Seas due to the current geopolitical situation in Israel.

“We’ve been closely monitoring the geopolitical situation in Israel. With your safety and well-being in mind, and in conjunction with our Global Security Department, we’ve decided that we must cancel our October 9, 2023, and October 13, 2023 Rhapsody of the Seas sailings,” read a statement from the company.

Rhapsody of the Seas (Royal Caribbean Group)

Guests’ payments will be refunded within 14 business days, including taxes and fees, pre-paid packages and gratuities, amenities, shore excursions and any flights purchased through Royal Caribbean, according to the company statement.

Azamara Cruises

Amid the ongoing conflict, Azamara said that it will not be calling ports in Israel as originally planned. These changes will affect the 17 October Israel Intensive Voyage and 27 October Ancient Trade Routes Voyage onboard Azamara Journey, and the October 23 Ancient Civilizations sailing on Azamara Pursuit.

Carnival Corporation & plc

Carnival said that it has adjusted its cruise itineraries and is not making calls to Israel at this time.

It is directly contacting all guests scheduled to travel to Israel aboard a future Carnival Corporation & plc brand cruise with additional details about itinerary adjustments. The brands scheduled to visit Israel within Carnival Corporation & plc include AIDA, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn.

Particular itineraries were not specified by the cruise line.

Travel Weekly awaits responses from Silversea and Scenic Group regarding changes to itineraries.

(Featured Image: Akko, Israel at sunset – iStock/RuslanDashinsky)

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