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Holland America Cruise Ship Skips Israeli Ports of Call

September 3, 2013
(12:20 p.m. EDT) -- Holland America Line's Noordam did not call on Haifa yesterday as originally scheduled and will not call on Jerusalem today, due to worries of a retaliatory Syrian assault on Israel should the United States attack Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

"As a result of the uncertainties of possible military action against Syria and the potential of resulting Syrian attacks on Israel, we have canceled the scheduled calls of ms Noordam to Israel," a company spokesman told Cruise Critic.

In place of the two ports, Holland America added three new ports: Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey and Nafplion, Greece.

Passengers on the affected sailing received a future cruise credit equal to 15 percent of their cruise fare paid. Shore excursions purchased through the line will be refunded and governmental fees and taxes will be adjusted accordingly.

Holland America did not say whether future cruises would avoid Israel. No Holland America ship is scheduled to visit an Israeli port until October 25, when Noordam is set to call on Haifa.

Other cruise lines scheduled to visit Israel this week include Costa and MSC. Cruise Critic has reached out to both lines to find out if any changes are anticipated.

-- by Dori Saltzman, News Editor

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