The recent terrorist attacks in Istanbul have impacted port calls of some cruise liners scheduled to visit Turkey in April and May. Cruise liners like Crystal and MSC had announced revised itineraries last week substituting Turkish ports with Greece destinations like Athens and Mykonos, due to security concerns. Now, joining this list are all brands under Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas. The cruise line made an official announcement on January 22 dropping Turkey from their itinerary.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make future itinerary adjustments as appropriate,” said Norwegian’s official statement which has been shared on all their websites. All guests are currently being notified by NCL.
However, there are some cruise liners who haven’t announced any change in their plans yet. The April and May calendar every year is packed with cruises in Middle East. These are the following that will visit Istanbul.
- Holland America – Premier Voyage & Mediterranean Treasures
Ship: ms Koningsdam
Ports: Rome (Civitavecchia), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Kerkyra (Corfu), Greece (Katakolon, Piraeus ), Turkey (Istanbul, Kusadasi), Rome (Civitavecchia)
Departs: 8 April 2016 for 19 nights
- APT – Adriatic and Aegean Odyssey – Istanbul to Venice
Ship: MS Island Sky
Ports: Turkey (Istanbul, Gallipolli, Greece ( Troy, Lesbos, Kusadasi, Delos, Greece (Athens, Itea, Otranto, Kotor) Croatia (Dubrovnik, Mljet, Korcula, Hvar, Split, Sibenik, Senj), Venice
Departs: 10 April 2016 for 14 nights
- Silversea – Piraeus, Athens to Istanbul, Turkey
Ship: Silver Wind
Ports: Athens (Piraeus), Mytilene, Cannakkale, Kusadasi, Turkey (Marmaris, Alanya, Antalya), Greece (Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, Volos, Thessaloniki, Kavala), Istanbul
Departs: 23 April 2016 for 14 nights
- Seabourn – Turkish & Aegean Treasures
Ship: Seabourn Odyssey
Ports: Istanbul, Greece (Myrina, Rhodes,Tira, Piraeus)
Departs: 7 May 2016 for 7 days
Seabourn also released a statement, “Seabourn is closely monitoring the recent situation in Istanbul, Turkey. Should adjustments to upcoming itineraries be deemed necessary, the decision will be made closer to the call dates. The safety of our guests and crew is our top priority. Seabourn Odyssey is scheduled to sail in the region between May and October 2016.”
According to Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, almost 40 million tourists visited Turkey in 2015, but the terror threats could result in reduced tourism footprints.
Turkey Cruise Tourism Facts
- Popular destination for international cruise ships
- Almost 542 cruise ships visited Turkish ports in 2013
- There’s a 13 percent increase in cruise ships in 5 years
- Number of cruise travellers is up by 34 percent. [source: go turkey.com]
Have you been to Turkey on cruise? Tell us.
Vote in this year’s special Readers’ Choice Awards
No doubt 2020 will go down in cruise history as the year of the pandemic – a once in a generation event. And this year’s Cruise Passenger Readers’ Choice Awards will reflect it.