Egypt loses out to Canaries as cruise line cancels a season in the Red Sea

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Interesting how cruise lines always fall back on safety and security as a justification for most things they do. As when MSC Cruises announce that they have cancelled a season of cruises in the Red Sea.
MSC Armonia will instead be cruising in the Canary Islands and to Madeira and Morocco..
Unrest in Cairo and Alexandria has not yet spread to ports such as Sharm el Sheikh, Safaga and Sokhne. But passengers have voted with their feet and have chosen to avoid Egypt entirely.
So the fact is that it’s not really safety that has led to MSC’s decision, it’s all about sales. But you can’t expect anyone to come out and say: “Nobody is buying these cruises so we’re going to have to put our ship somewhere else.”
The official line is: “Safety and security is MSC Cruises’ number one priority and the MSC fleet only ever sails to the safest destinations.
“Travellers will now enjoy two exciting new itineraries departing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.”
The first seven-night cruise calls at Funchal, Madeira; Santa Cruz de La Palma, and San Sebastian and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The second visits Casablanca, Agadir, Srrecife in Lanzarote, and Puerto del Rosario.
Thomson Cruises, which also makes the Red Sea a home for one of its ships each winter, and also has an extensive land-based programme in Egypt, says: “We continue to monitor the situation in the country and are reviewing Egyptian itineraries scheduled for this winter.”
Thomson Majesty will be based in Sharm from December 19 to February 27, running cruises which also visit Aqaba in Jordan.
Thomson added: “We have already taken the decision to shorten the Red Sea programme, and announced last month that Thomson Majesty will have a new winter home port of Malaga, Spain, as of March 2014.
“At this stage, no decisions have been made regarding the rest of the Red Sea winter programme.”
Other cruise lines with ships transiting the Suez Canal en route to and from India and the Far East will also continue to make stops at Egypt’s Red Sea ports.

By | 2013-07-25T07:52:10+00:00 25 July 2013|Cruise destinations, Cruise news|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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