Cruise lines alter itineraries with war in Israel

Cruise lines with scheduled calls in Israel are changing their itineraries after Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, launched a surprise attack on Israel over the weekend. The fighting quickly escalated to retaliatory attacks in the Gaza Strip.  

About a dozen cruise lines were scheduled to call in Israel over the next month. While several lines said they are closely monitoring the situation since fighting broke out Saturday morning, several have begun altering itineraries. 

On an 11-day sailing from Rome to Istanbul that departed Oct. 1, the Norwegian Gem did not call in Ashdod, Israel, on Oct. 8. The ship instead spent the day at sea before continuing its originally scheduled call to Limassol, Cypress, on Oct. 9. 

The Norwegian Jade, which departed Oct. 8 on a roundtrip cruise from Athens, has canceled calls at Israeli ports Ashdod and Haifa on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12. Instead, the ship will visit Turkish ports Bodrum and Marmaris on Oct. 10 and 11. It will spend a day at sea on Oct. 12. 

The Oceania Nautica, which was on an 11-day sailing from Haifa to Rome that began Oct. 6, was still in Haifa the day fighting broke out. The ship departed Israel on Saturday, nixing its scheduled call in Ashdod. All guests and crew were accounted for.

The Oct. 14 sailing of the Oceania Sirena from Athens to Istanbul was scheduled to spend three days in Israel — two in Haifa and one in Ashdod. The ship will now spend those days in Santorini, Heraklion and Mykonos, Greece. 

The Oceania Marina‘s Nov. 1 itinerary includes two days in Israel. The line is in the process of reviewing its itinerary options for those days. 

  • Related: U.S. airlines suspend flying to Israel

Regent Seven Seas Cruises has amended the Seven Seas Voyager‘s Oct. 3 and Oct. 15 itineraries. The Voyager’s call at Haifa on Oct. 14 and 15 has been canceled and the ship will instead sail to Istanbul, where the sailing will conclude. 

The ship’s Oct. 15 itinerary will begin in Istanbul instead of Haifa. The ship’s calls to Ashdod on Oct. 16 and 17 will be canceled and the ship will instead sail directly to Cairo and arrive on Oct. 18 to resume its previously scheduled itinerary. 

This is a developing story.

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