Turkey Update: More Cancelled Calls by Holland America, Carnival & RCCL

Holland America Line's Eurodam, shown above in Port Everglades, FL, earlier this year, will not call at Turkish ports during its current "Mediterranean Empires" cruise. // Photo by Susan J. Young

Both Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., parent of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, announced this past weekend that they've cancelled additional calls for those brands in Turkey.

RCCL's Latest Update

Late last week, after the attempted coup in Turkey, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. adjusted several ships' schedules (see our previous article posted Friday). On Saturday, however, the cruise company made further adjustments -- cancelling its next three calls. 

Royal Caribbean International's Vision of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas will now call on Chania (Souda) Crete, Greece on Tuesday, July 19 and Wednesday, July 20, respectively. 

Celebrity Reflection was due to visit Kusadasi (for Ephesus) and Bodrum on July 24 and July 25. Instead, the ship will now call at Rhodes, Greece on July 25 and Sicily, Italy on July 27.

"As we continue to monitor the situation in Turkey, Royal Caribbean will contact guests or their travel agents should we make any additional modifications to future itineraries," the line said in a statement. 

Holland America's Changes

In addition, Holland America Line said it's been closely monitoring current events in Turkey and "out of an abundance of caution" has changed the schedule for Eurodam's "Mediterranean Empires" cruise, which departed Sunday, July 17. 

For that specific sailing, Eurodam will no longer call at the scheduled ports of Istanbul, Mytilene (Lesbos), Greece or Kuşadasi (Ephesus), Turkey. Instead, Holland America added four new ports and extended port call times in both Iraklion and Piraeus (Athens).  The new itinerary for this cruise is as follows:      
               ARRIVE                                          DEPART
July 17    Venice, Italy                                 Overnight
July 18    Venice, Italy                                 Depart 4 p.m.
July 19    At Sea  
July 20    Sarandë, Albania                         8 a.m.  to 6 p.m. 
July 21    Katakolon (Olympia), Greece        8 a.m.  to 3 p.m.
July 22      Piraeus (Athens), Greece            8 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
July 23    Mykonos, Greece                         8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
July 24    Rhodes, Greece                           8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
July 25    Iraklion, Crete, Greece                 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
July 26    Thira (Santorini), Greece              7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
July 27    Argostolion, Cephalonia, Greece    noon to 6 p.m.
July 28    At Sea 
July 29    Venice, Italy                                   7 a.m.

Carnival Vista's Kusadasi calls have been cancelled through July 20. // Photo by Lynn & Cele Seldon

While this is Holland America's only cruise with revisions at this time, it's monitoring the situation closely. "Should adjustments be required on other upcoming cruises with calls there, booked guests and their travel agents will be notified," the line's statement said.  

Carnival's Decision

Carnival Cruise Line's new Carnival Vista was set to call in Kusadasi this past Sunday, but the port call was cancelled; the ship spent the day at sea.

The ship's upcoming port call at Kusadasi on July 20 has also been cancelled; again, the ship will spend the day at sea.

Jennifer De La Cruz, a Carnival spokeswoman, said: "We will continue to monitor the situation in Turkey in conjunction with global security experts and make a determination with respect to future calls in Kusadasi -- beyond July 20 -- in the coming days." 

Most other lines had previously cancelled Turkey calls following the recent airport bombing in Istanbul. For example, Silversea Cruises made this decision following that event:  

“At Silversea, guest comfort, relaxation, luxury, and discovery come second only to one thing, guest safety. Compromise is not something we ask our guests to consider onboard, and nor should they, but following an increased number of travel advisories distributed by international agencies, we are taking the proactive step to remove Istanbul from itineraries in the immediate future and through the whole of 2017, and replace it with a stop in Athens, Greece.” 


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