P&O Cruises Diverts Ship Due to Unrest in Greece

December 10, 2008
Greece is the latest region in the world to experience unrest -- with a general strike occurring simultaneously with unrelated riots in the city of Athens.

Riots began earlier this week after a teenager was shot by the police over the weekend. Meanwhile, today's general work strikes have forced all flights in and out of the country to be cancelled; the strikes (public workers are protesting the government's economic policies) are due to end this evening.

Because it is off-season for cruising in Greece right now, just one ship -- P&O Cruises' Oriana -- was scheduled to call in Piraeus (the port for Athens) this week. P&O has swapped Oriana's planned call in Piraeus on Thursday for a call in Naples, Italy on Friday instead. Oriana is currently on an 18-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise.

Cruise Critic's Athens-based columnist Joyce Gleeson-Adamidis told Cruise Critic that there has been a great deal of unrest and violence in the city.

"The season now is very little and most are just ferries transporting locals to and from the islands and the mainland," Adamidis writes via e-mail. "Travel will increase for the holidays, but basically now, people are going to keep a very low profile as these attacks [damaging shops, fighting with cops, other violence] have caused a major confusion in the country."

At this point, no other cruise lines have been impacted by the events in Greece. MSC Poesia is due to call on 21 December, Brilliance of the Seas is scheduled to visit on 27 December and Norwegian Jade is on the docket for New Year's Eve.

We will keep you posted.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor

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