| Date Published: February 14, 2011 |
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|Big-Ship Cruise Lines Cancel Egypt Calls Through |June December
Updated February 14, 5 p.m. EST: MSC Cruises has announced it will swap all Egypt calls on sailings departing through December. Visits to Jerusalem, Heraklion, Haifa, Athens, Izmir, Limassol, Valletta and/or Taormina will replace stops at Cairo and Alexandria. A slightly different statement on the line's Web site says the itineraries may return to normal if the situation in Egypt improves.
(February 11, 11 a.m. EST) -- After nearly two weeks of violent protests and riots aimed at the Egyptian government, cruise lines have made dozens of itinerary changes and cancellations. The latest modifications, however, come from two big-ship lines -- neither of which was scheduled to call in the area until at least April. Two luxury lines also announced that they have created alternate itineraries for their Egypt sailings, though none of those changes have yet been made official.
Azamara Club Cruises and Royal Caribbean announced late Wednesday that they will pull Egypt ports from appropriate itineraries through June. Read on to see if your sailing will be affected.
Azamara Quest's April 24 sailing from Dubai will skip Alexandria in favor of a sea day on May 4 and will call in Santorini on May 5.
Quest's May 6 sailing from Athens will skip an overnight in Alexandria and will, instead, spend the night in Rhodes from May 10-11. A sea day will follow on May 12, and the ship will be in Paphos, Cyprus, on May 13.
Quest's May 16 cruise from Haifa will drop an overnight in Alexandria and pick up a visit to Paphos on May 19. An overnight in Rhodes has been added from May 20-21.
Brilliance of the Seas' April 21 itinerary from Dubai has been modified to exclude all Egypt ports, including Safaga, Sharm el Sheikh and Alexandria, as well as Aqaba, Jordan. The 16-night sailing will now consist of nine sea days. We're still awaiting word from RCI about whether any compensation will be offered to those booked.
Mariner of the Seas' April 18 voyage from Rome will scrap Alexandria on April 24 for an overnight in Istanbul from April 24-25.
Mariner's May 11 cruise from Rome will now forego a stop in Alexandria on May 18 and include a sea day on May 16, followed by an overnight in Istanbul from May 17-18 and a call on Kusadasi on May 19.
Mariner's June 4 sailing from Rome will switch Alexandria's June 11 call to an Istanbul overnight from June 11-12.
Mariner's June 28 voyage from Rome will visit Istanbul for an overnight from July 6-7 and forfeit a call on Alexandria that was scheduled for July 6.
Additionally, Tim Rubacky, a spokesperson for luxury lines Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, says both lines have created alternative itineraries to be used if the unrest continues. However, those changes have not yet officially been put into effect. We're awaiting specifics.
For the latest changes from a number of other cruise lines, please click here.
We'll keep you updated.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor
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