Celebrity Cruises and Holland America Line are among some of the cruise lines that have cancelled visits to Istanbul, after recent terror attacks and the current military coup in Turkey.
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox, which was supposed to arrive in Istanbul tomorrow (July 16), after sailing from Kusadasi, will now head to Athens in Greece. Meanwhile, Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam and Eurodam will both skip their scheduled calls to the Turkish port. Cunard’s Queen Victoria was due to visit the city on Sunday.
The cancellations come after the Turkish military claims to have seized control of the country, with tanks currently blocking the entrance to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, which had been the site of a terror attack less than a month ago. All flights have been cancelled in and out of the airport.
“We are aware of the current developments in Turkey. We are urgently seeking more information. Until the situation becomes clearer, we advise you to avoid public places and remain vigilant.”
— FCO Travel Advice
A statement read out by a news presenter for the Turkish state broadcaster TRT, which has now gone off air, on the orders of the military, explained that the army has taken control and that Turkey is now being run by a “peace council”.
The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim condemned the coup, telling NTV that the military action currently taking place was “an illegal act by a group within the military that was acting out of the chain of military command.”
Military tanks are currently blocking traffic from crossing both the Bosphorus and Faith Sultan Mehmet bridges in Istanbul.
“We encourage U.S. citizens to shelter in place and do not go the U.S. Embassy or Consulates at this time. Monitor local press for updates, avoid areas of conflict, and exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of any military or security forces.”
— U.S. Embassy Ankara
Several cruise lines, including MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and Crystal Cruises, had already stopped visiting Istanbul amid terror alerts, after several bombings and attacks over the past few months. It is expected that more cruise lines will cancel visits to Istanbul over the coming days.
16/07 @ 12:45
Celestyal Cruises is the latest cruise line to cancel upcoming visits to Turkey. Both Celestyal Olympia‘s and Celestyal Crystal‘s July 18 departure from Piraeus, will now visit Samos and Chios instead of Kusadasi and Cesme. Those who were planning to join Celestyal Olympia in Kusadasi and Celestyal Crystal in Cesme will receive assistance from Celestyal’s local agents.
17/07 @ 23:25
Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas will skip its scheduled visit to Kusadasi on Wednesday, July 20, after the cruise line announced it would be cancelling all ports calls to Turkey.