Crisis spreads to Red Sea ports

/, Cruise News/Crisis spreads to Red Sea ports

As violence escalates in Egypt and holidaymakers in Red Sea resorts are warned to remain in their hotels, it can only be a matter of time before Thomson Cruises cancels its winter season in the region.
While other operators such as MSC, Costa and Holland America Line have all announced that they have pulled their ships from the country, Thomson has only cut short its Red Sea season on Thomson Majesty.
The ship is scheduled to be based in Sharm el Sheik from December 19 to February 27, and also has calls into Port Said and Alexandria booked during the period from November 6 to December 19, when it will be operating from Cyprus.
The company said: “We continue to monitor the situation in Egypt and are reviewing Egyptian itineraries scheduled for this winter.
“We have already announced 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.”
However, a recent press release about Thomson’s winter excursion programmes contained no reference to Egypt.
Until now, the Red Sea has been seen as a safe haven, unaffected by the trouble in Cairo and Alexandria. Excursions to Luxor, and the Valley of the Kings have been able to continue.
But after the latest deaths in the capital protests spread to Hurghada. A month-long state of emergency has been declared and there is a night-time curfew across the country.
The latest Foreign Office statement advises against all travel to parts of Egypt.
“Travel advice for Red Sea resorts remains unchanged but local authorities in Sharm el Sheikh have temporarily stopped tourist excursions. In Hurghada the police have advised tourists to remain within hotel grounds. We advise British tourists to follow the regulations set by the local authorities and to obey curfews. British tourists should also ensure they keep valid identification with them at all times.
“Tour operators are advising holiday makers that airport transfers to Sharm el Sheik will still take place during the curfew and that tourists going to other resorts, mainly Dahab, will be taken to Sharm el Sheik overnight and then travel onto their final destination in the morning.”
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has amended the itinerary of a November cruise to the Red Sea on board Boudicca. The 30-day round trip from Southampton will call at Ashdod and Haifa in Israel instead of Alexandria and Port Said. Visits to Safaga and Sharm are still scheduled to take place.

By | 2013-08-15T10:58:04+00:00 15 August 2013|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|1 Comment

About the Author:

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

One Comment

  1. Sailaway 20 August 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Thomson Cruises has been letting customers know today that their Red Sea cruise is cancelled for this winter. Thomson Majesty is going back to Louis Cruises from December to February until it starts cruises from Malaga in March.

Leave A Comment