February 19, 2013
The cancellation comes just a few weeks after P&O cancelled Ashdod in Israel due to "security issues." The line took the decision to swap Port Said (for Cairo) for the quieter Mediterranean port of Alexandria, where the ship is currently berthed, to avoid being in Egypt on a Friday. Generally, unrest has typically taken place after morning prayers on a Friday.
Despite security concerns, all tours to Cairo have gone ahead as planned -- including an overnight tour in the capital city -- without incident.
A spokeswoman for P&O said: “Port Said was cancelled following assessment of the current disorder in that particular city.
"Alexandria does not currently have these levels of disorder, hence we are content for our ships to visit there. The excursions we are currently running to Cairo have been risk-assessed at the highest level and avoid Tahrir Square.
"In summary, Port Said has been cancelled due to specific issues in that City.”
A number of lines have been forced to alter or cancel intineraries to Egypt in recent months, including Regent Seven Seas, which changed an itinerary in November; and Norwegian Cruise Line which cancelled all calls in Egypt for this season.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor