The current war between the State of Israel and the jihadist group Hamas has forced cruise lines to take swift action. They are now working to cancel all planned calls in Israel and looking for alternative destinations.
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has stated that the safety of its passengers, crew, and the communities they visit is of the utmost importance to them. As a result, they always keep themselves informed of global events that may impact their operations.
CLIA has expressed its support for those affected by the recent attacks in Israel and stated that cruise lines worldwide are closely monitoring the situation. They will adjust their itineraries to ensure passenger's and crew's safety.
Suppose you are planning a trip to the region or have already made a reservation. In that case, CLIA recommends checking the status of your departure with your shipping company or travel agent.
Several cruise lines, including TUI Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises (Norwegian Cruise Line Holding), Holland America (Carnival Corp.), Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises (Royal Caribbean Group), and MSC Cruises, had scheduled to make stops in Haifa, which is located in the northwest of Israel, and Ashdod, situated south of Tel Aviv and very close to the Gaza Strip, in the upcoming days.
The main alternatives to rescheduling include other regions such as Limassol (Cyprus), Alanya, and Bodrum (Turkey). Cruise companies are also considering adding additional days at sea to avoid operations and possible risk in the conflict zone.
Due to recent regional events, the Celestyal cruise company has announced that it will temporarily suspend its Three Continents itinerary calls in Israel until the end of November. The company has assured that it will monitor the situation closely for any cruises departing after this date.
MSC Cruises has recently announced that MSC Musica's scheduled port of call in Haifa in October has been canceled. The cruise ship was supposed to sail to Limassol (Cyprus) on October 10, so the Kusadasi (Turkey) stopover was also canceled. However, the ship stopped in Antalya, Turkey, on October 12 and continued its regular itinerary.
To replace the canceled stops, MSC Musica's call at Haifa on October 19 and 26 will be substituted with Rhodes and Marmaris (Turkey) on November 2.
Furthermore, MSC Sinfonia's port of call in Haifa, originally scheduled for October 16, will be replaced by the port of Bodrum (Turkey) while future calls are being reviewed. Passengers will be notified accordingly.