Giant Cruise Ships Cancel Israel Trips and Head to Turkey
Cruise companies in the Mediterranean canceled their cruises to Israel, citing political and security problems due to the state of war between Israel and Hamas forces in Israel. With this decision, giant cruise ships turned their route to Turkey.
Due to the political instability and security problems in Israel, cruise operators started to divert ships away from Israel, especially from the port of Ashdod. A significant number of these ships have turned their route to Turkey instead of Israeli ports, while others have headed to Egypt and Cyprus. The canceled sailings include routes to Turkey's major tourist destinations such as Istanbul, Bodrum, Antalya, and Mersin.
Some of the major cruise lines include globally recognized companies such as Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises. This change has the potential to affect the tourism dynamics of both the industry and the region, creating a significant opportunity for Turkish tourism. Turkey could replace Israel as the center of cruise tourism in the Mediterranean.
Turkey stands out as one of the countries benefiting from this change. Turkey's beautiful coastline, historical sites, and various tourist attractions have elements that can attract cruise passengers. Therefore, Turkey being preferred as an alternative route for cruise ships offers an important opportunity for the country's tourism.
On Thursday, October 12, the Maltese-flagged cruise ship Mein Schiff 5, which will sail to Haifa Port of Israel, docked at Marmaris Port Authority Bonded Port. Some of the passengers of the 294-meter-long, 36-meter-wide giant cruise ship left the port, boarded the tour buses waiting for them, and went on tours of Dalyan and touristic neighborhoods, while others went for a stroll in the district center and the marina.
According to the information obtained, Holland America Line's passenger ship Nieuw Statendam also abandoned its planned voyage to Ashdod last Monday and set sail for Turkey's Alanya port. Several other cruise ships scheduled to call in Israel in the next few days are expected to change course. These include ships operated by major cruise operators such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, TUI Cruises, and MSC Cruises.
The changes in these routes in the Mediterranean region reflect a dynamic situation affecting the tourism industry and the need for cruise lines to re-plan their routes taking into account political and security factors. With these developments, Turkey's tourist attractions and ports are getting ready to welcome more cruise passengers.