July 29, 2013
(6:15 a.m. EDT, July 8) -- Thomson Cruises and Discover Egypt have both cancelled calls to Egypt following the unrest that continues to grip the country.
Thomson cancelled calls at Alexandria and Port Said on Thomson Celebration, replacing them with Ag Nik, Crete and Haifa, Israel. Parent company Tui meanwhile, cancelled all flights to and from Luxor and repatriated all its guests back to the U.K. last week.
A spokesperson said: "As a result of the change in Foreign & Commonwealth Office (F.C.O.) advice, the decision was made to cancel all outbound flights to Luxor on Wednesday 3rd July. As a precautionary measure, we also took the decision to repatriate all customers holidaying in Luxor back to the UK [on] 3rd July 2013. Our cruise team will continue to monitor the situation and are reviewing Egyptian itineraries and the shore excursion programme on a daily basis."
Egypt specialist operator Discover Egypt has cancelled two Nile cruises following the change in F.C.O. advice, which warned against all but essential travel to apart from the Red Sea Resorts in Sinai and the Mainland Red Sea Coast.
“Things are difficult but we continue to take future bookings” commented Philip Breckner of Discover Egypt, who added: "we also have several clients on a Nile cruise who travelled out before the new travel advice, who simply don't want to come home.”
Elhamy Elzyat, Chairman of the Egypt Tourism Federation has written to tour operators stating: “Until a new Cabinet is appointed I will personally work with my colleagues members of the Tourism Federation Board together with The Chairman of the Tourism Promotion Board to put a plan of action to recreate confidence in the Egyptian Tourism Product bringing on board as soon as appointed the Ministers of Tourism, Antiquities, Culture, Interior and all appropriate Governors to create a new image for Egypt.”
Their moves follow that of German cruise line AIDA, which has cancelled AIDAdiva's call at Port Said today (July 8), replacing it with a visit to Ashdod, Israel. At time of writing, a future call to Port Said, scheduled for July 22, is still planned to go ahead.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor.