January 28, 2004
Istanbul is still feeling the fallout from last autumn's terrorist bombings as Oceania Cruises announces it will drop that destination from Insignia's itineraries. Oceania is also replacing Kusadasi. Instead, the ship will offer, as substitute ports of call, destinations such as Piraeus (for Athens), Mykonos and Santorini in Greece; Amalfi, Siracusa and Messina in Italy; and Valleta in Malta. Oceania follows in the footsteps of Princess Cruises, which had already announced it would replace Istanbul with Rome on Star Princess' 2004 itineraries. Star Princess will, however, continue to call at Kusadasi. Royal Princess, which plays a more exotic role for the cruise line, will, for now, keep Turkey on its autumn schedule. Among major cruise lines offering Europe this summer, Royal Caribbean is the only other company to bypass Turkey – but its change in plans for Brilliance of the Seas was made prior to the bombing in Istanbul. Otherwise, spokespeople from lines such as NCL & Orient, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea and Radisson Seven Seas report that Turkey's ports are still on their 2004 itineraries.