Unrest in Athens Unlikely to Impact Cruises

May 5, 2010
(5 p.m. EDT) -- A national strike in Greece has turned violent -- a worrisome development for visitors to the European nation, including cruise travelers calling, or turning around, in the port of Athens. However, with the strikes scheduled to end at midnight tonight, future port calls should remain unaffected.

MSC Cruises' MSC Armonia and MSC Musica are scheduled to call in Athens tomorrow, while Holland America's Westerdam and Seabourn's Seabourn Odyssey are arriving on Saturday. (Odyssey will be debarking and embarking passengers.) Athens' port, Piraeus, has not been affected by the strikes, with the exception of the Greek ferries, Seabourn spokesman Bruce Good reports. He does say that some hotels might be affected, which could be a problem for travelers with pre-cruise stays in Athens. MSC Cruises and Holland America representatives were still waiting for news of any possible itinerary changes at press time.

Earlier this week, Thomson Cruises altered the itineraries of two cruise ships to avoid the strikes in Greece. Thomson Celebration swapped a May Day call in Athens for a May 1 visit to Kusadasi, Turkey, and a May 2 call in Athens. Thomson Spirit was due to call in Athens today, during the strike, but, instead, visited Athens yesterday and Mykonos today.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor