Med Cruising: Terror Attacks & Turkish Coup Send Shockwaves
The recent terror attack in Nice and attempted coup in Turkey are having a negative impact on Mediterranean cruising. The Eastern Med is no stranger to cruise-disrupting troubles, but recent attacks in Brussels, Paris and Nice are hitting West Med and river cruise itineraries too.
Following the failed attempt by Turkish military to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, cruise lines are now cancelling calls in Turkish ports beyond Istanbul. Terror attacks over the past few months in Istanbul had already created major problems for that port city, considered a highlight for many Med cruisers.
Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises are among those that have altered itineraries due to political turmoil and airport closures in the wake of the coup attempt. All 3 lines replaced scheduled calls at Kusadasi with nearby ports in Greece or sea days. Celebrity also cancelled a visit to Bodrum, substituting Sicily in its place.
Piraeus-based Celestyal Cruises is being impacted in a big way. A Celestyal official said the company will “watch the situation in Turkey, with passenger security and comfort uppermost in the mind. For the present, calls have been canceled and decisions on programs will be made in the coming days.”
Carnival has also said it is monitoring the situation in conjunction with global security experts and is yet to make a determination with respect to Carnival Vista's future calls in Kusadasi.
Meanwhile, a Holland America vessel is still set to call at Kusadasi 23JUL, but the company says it will assess decisions on a case-by-case basis.
The Nice incident was shocking because it took place on the French Riviera, world-renowned for its beauty and serenity. Two cruise calls were immediately cancelled.
Vicky Garcia, Chief Operating Officer and Co-owner of Cruise Planners, stayed in Nice prior to the christening of Seven Seas Explorer, and has announced her intention to return there for an overnight stay at the end of the cruise. “I believe in #LoveNotHate and will NOT let these awful terrorists get the best of us,” Garcia said.