As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues, numerous cruise companies are cancelling future calls in Israel.
The Israeli ports of Ashdod and Haifa have been dropped off the itineraries of Holland America, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Celestyal Cruises, with some of these lines also cancelling stops into next week.
Within hours of fighting breaking out on Saturday, Celebrity was among the first lines to stop calls in Israel, rerouting Celebrity Apex away from the country. On Sunday and Monday, the ship was supposed to stop at Haifa and Ashdod, but instead, it skipped both.
In addition to cancelling the 22 October sailing to Alexandria, Egypt, Celebrity cancelled the 20 October voyage’s planned stop to Israel.
Late on Monday, Celestyal Cruises stated that it will not be making any further stops in Israel between now and the end of the month.
Additional Egypt calls are anticipated to be cancelled as part of a pullback from Israel calls since stops in Alexandria, Egypt, are often combined with stops in Israel on Eastern Mediterranean sailings.
The weekend call cancellations to Israel were also quickly implemented by Holland America. On Saturday, when the conflict broke out, the company had a ship parked in Haifa. The cruise ship Nieuw Statendam had to stop disembarkation, recall guests already set out on tours, and leave port late that night. It skipped its next scheduled stop in Ashdod.
MSC Cruises has likewise suspended calls to Israel for at least the next two weeks. The MSC Musica was due to arrive in Haifa this Thursday. The same ship will also skip Haifa stops scheduled for 18 and 25 October. A second ship, MSC Sinfonia, was also expected to arrive in Haifa on 16 October.
Norwegian has cancelled a call in Ashdod scheduled for the Norwegian Gem on Sunday and a call of Norwegian Jade later this week at both Ashdod and Haifa.
Beginning on Saturday, Regent Seven Seas has cancelled four consecutive days of stops in Israel for the Seven Seas Voyager. The ship was supposed to turn around in Haifa on 15 October; its current trip was supposed to conclude in Haifa on that day, with a new cruise departing the following day. The ship will complete its current voyage and begin its next journey on 15 October in Istanbul.
The Oceania Cruises Nautica left Israel one day earlier than scheduled on Saturday. The planned stops at Haifa and Ashdod on the line’s Sirena vessel on its 14 October trip from Piraeus to Istanbul will be substituted with Santorini, Heraklion, and Mykonos in Greece. Oceania has also postponed the three-day trip to Israel for the line’s ship Sirena, which was set to begin on 17 October.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has modified the 15 October 3 itinerary for the Seven Seas Voyager and substituted the previously scheduled stops to Israel. Instead of stopping in Haifa, the ship will cruise to Istanbul. The cruise that leaves on 15 October will depart from Istanbul rather than Haifa and sail directly to Cairo.
Royal Caribbean, which is presently sailing its Rhapsody of the Seas from the Israeli port of Haifa, has stated that the ship’s 9 October and 15 October cruises from Haifa have been cancelled. Royal Caribbean is providing all impacted guests with a full refund.
Celebrity Apex was on its way to Haifa when it changed course to dock at Limassol, Cyprus. Passengers on the 16 October cruise have been informed of itinerary changes that would substitute calls in Ashdod and Haifa with stops in the Greek ports of Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes before continuing to Port Said, Egypt.
Azamara, Silversea Cruises, Viking, Windstar Cruises, and Costa Cruises are among the other lines, with ships slated to visit Israel in the coming weeks.
Most lines that discontinue calls to Israel substitute extra ship days or stop at additional ports in Greece or Turkey.