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Egypt

Cruise lines slowly returning to Egypt. Image: jaja/Shutterstock

Cruise lines are slowly returning to Egypt as political disruption at last begins to subside.

Egyptian ports were removed from Middle East and African itineraries in August, last year, after the coup of former president Mohammed Morsi sparked violent unrest.

Prior the events of 2013, Egypt was a major destination for cruise lines.

Now, almost a year later, the country is making a comeback to 2014/15 and 2015/16 itineraries.

Silversea will return to the country in October on a 14-day Greece to Italy cruise aboard Silver Spirit.

The cruise will visit Alexandria for an overnight stay before heading to Israel.

Silver Cloud will also visit Alexandria in November this year on a 12-day Greece to Italy itinerary, while Silver Wind will also visit Alexandria, Port Said and Sharm el Sheikh during a 16-day voyage from Greece to Dubai.

Holland America will return to Egypt in September this year on a 49-day Africa Explorer cruise from The Netherlands to South Africa.

Ms Rotterdam will call into Sharm el Sheikh on day 17 of the cruise and Safaga on day 19.

The line told Cruise Passenger safety is always a priority and if there is an issue during the period the route will be revised.

Although APT general manager marketing and sales Debra Fox says the line has no immediate plans to reinstate operations in Egypt, the country will be included in the line’s Luxury Small Ship program in 2014 and 2015.

Two sailings will visit Egypt, with guests leaving the ship during the day to enjoy sightseeing.

“We believe this is a much better suited travel format for this region,” Ms Fox said.

“That’s because it ensures guest safety at all times and gives us the ability to reorganise plans with minimum disruption to the overall itinerary if necessary.”

MSC Cruises’ spokesperson in Australia told Cruise Passenger the line plans to return to Alexandria in Egypt in December 2015 and for the 2016 cruise season.

More details and itineraries will be released closer to the date.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has maintained its position of telling Australian travellers to reconsider the need to travel to Egypt, pointing out that the presidential election scheduled for 26 and 27 May 2014 could lead to violence.