PHOTO: Oceania's Riviera cancelled an upcoming call in Israel, as did Regent's Seven Seas Mariner. (Courtesy of Oceania Cruises)
Costa Cruises has cancelled all calls to Haifa and Ashdod, Israel, throughout the fall. Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises also have changed itineraries due to continued Israeli-Hamas violence.
The Costa Pacifica instead will visit Istanbul, Turkey, and Volos, Greece, on departures from Sept. 15 through Nov. 20. Also, the Sept. 5 cruise itinerary for Costa Deliziosa will overnight at Istanbul instead of Haifa and will visit Volos and Heraklion, Greece, instead of two previously scheduled sea days.
Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner will bypass Haifa during its current 20- and 32-day cruises, which departed July 19, and Oceania’s Riviera cancelled a call there on Sept. 8. The calls were replaced with visits to Mykonos, Greece, and Antalya and Alanya, Turkey.
“We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and will adjust future itineraries should the need warrant,” the companies said. “Our primary concern is to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew.”
The move comes two weeks after the German cruise ship AIDAdiva cancelled calls to Israel after rocket shrapnel fell onto its outside decks while departing Ashdod. No one was injured.
The rocket debris fell on the ship July 8 during the first day of hostilities between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and AIDA Cruises immediately cancelled all calls to Ashdod through August. Since then, though, as the fighting continues, the company said it will discontinue any calls at all Israeli ports through October. It will visit Santorini, Greece, instead.