Breaking Down Istanbul Airport Attack's Impact on Cruise Industry
Following Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the Istanbul Ataturk Airport that left 41 people dead and at least another 230 injured, several major cruise lines have started canceling port stops in the Turkish city.
UPDATE: 11 a.m. ET 7/18/16
Via Cruise Critic, Holland America Line announced Turkey port-of-call cancellations in a statement. Eurodam, which has departed from Venice, will not stop at Istanbul and Mytilene, Nisos Lesbos, Greece. The new itinerary is Mykonos (July 22), Kusadasi (July 23), Rhodes (July 24) and Crete (July 25).
The line stated, "Shore excursions booked in affected ports through Holland America Line will be refunded and taxes, fees and port expenses will be adjusted accordingly."
Meanwhile, Princess Cruises' Royal Princess is replacing a July 28 Istanbul call with Rhodes, though the ship is still scheduled to visit Kusadasi on July 27 and Aug. 1.
Princess stated, "Guests who have prepaid Istanbul shore excursions will be reimbursed via their onboard account."
UPDATE: 11:55 a.m. ET 6/30/16
Another company is avoiding Istanbul, as Windstar Cruises announced 16 cruise itineraries that featured embarkation /disembarkation port calls in Istanbul will now be changed to the port of Athens (Piraeus), Greece.
In addition, the scheduled mid-cruise ports of call in Kusadasi and Bodrum, Turkey, for all 16 sailings have been replaced with visits to Greece’s island of Kalymnos and seaport of Nafplio.
For more information on the cancelations, check the Windstar Cruises official website.
On Wednesday, Celebrity Cruises announced on its official website that the cruise line would be canceling all of the upcoming stops in Istanbul, and replacing them with stops in Athens, Greece. In total, seven sailings over the next five months will be impacted.
“This decision was made with the safety of our guests and crew at the forefront of our minds and in an abundance of caution,” Celebrity Cruises said in a statement. “We realize this may have an impact on your travel plans and our team is working now on available alternative arrangements from this new port of embark and debarkation. We sincerely apologize for the impact on your cruise and will revert throughout the day with more details. We understand how important your vacation is and we did not take this decision lightly.”
Another company making changes to itineraries following the terrorist attack is Seabourn Cruise Line. According to the company’s official website, the Seabourn Odyssey ship was scheduled to begin a cruise in Istanbul this weekend, but will now start in Piraeus, Greece, instead.
“After a very careful and thorough review, Seabourn has decided to replace the July 2, 2016 turn port of Istanbul with Piraeus (Athens). Seabourn is closely monitoring the situation in Istanbul,” Seabourn Cruise Line said in a statement. “The company analyzes information regarding safety and security from many sources, which includes liaising with government intelligence agencies and on-the-ground port security assessments. We are in the process of assessing other upcoming scheduled visits to Istanbul. We will provide an update in the next 24 hours. The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority.”
Crystal Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises and other companies have already canceled visits to Turkey in 2016, and Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises have canceled stops in Turkey for 2017.
While many cruise lines have taken a step back from Turkey, companies like Holland America, Princess Cruises and Windstar Cruises all have upcoming stops in Istanbul and have not cancelled them as of Wednesday.
“Holland America Line is closely monitoring the situation in Turkey. The company analyzes information regarding safety and security from many sources, which includes liaising with government intelligence agencies and on-the-ground port security assessments,” Holland America officials told CruiseCritic.com. “We are assessing our upcoming scheduled visits to Istanbul. The next scheduled call is July 23, 2016, with ms Eurodam. Should any decisions be made regarding itinerary changes, it will be closer to the scheduled call date and communicated with booked guests and their travel agents. The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority.”
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