Egypt Unrest Shakes up Tourism: Cruises Modify Itineraries

Several Lines Announce Further Egyptian Cancellations

ByABC News
February 1, 2011, 9:35 AM

Feb. 1, 2011 — -- Cruise Critic reports that cruise lines and tour operators continued to tweak itineraries this week as the unrest in Egypt escalated, leaving travelers on edge during what is the peak season for Nile River cruises.

The protests are occurring just weeks after similar outbreaks took place in Tunisia, causing cruise lines to cancel calls there.

In response to the protests aimed at the Egyptian government, the U.S. State Department posted a travel warning, advising that "U.S. citizens avoid travel to Egypt due to ongoing political and social unrest." Meanwhile, the U.K. Foreign Office has a notice on its site, advising against "all but essential travel" to the area.

Here's what the lines have announced thus far.

MSC: Two MSC ships, MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica, were expected to call at Alexandria over the next few days, but they're being diverted. Magnifica will now call at Limassol, Cyprus, and Haifa, Israel, on Sunday and Monday, respectively. Splendida will call at Izmir, Turkey, on Monday.

NCL: Likewise, Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Jade will now call at Istanbul on Sunday in lieu of a stop in Alexandria.

Cosmos Tourama: Cosmos Tourama says on its Web site that those booked on its Jan. 31, 2011, departure should contact the line's call center to discuss options, but it has not yet canceled any sailings outright. The line also is not offering its usual excursions to Cairo from Luxor and Aswan, instead keeping passengers in Upper Egypt, where there's less trouble.