Middle East violence forces itinerary changes
Several major cruise lines have been forced to change their itineraries to avoid the Middle East after violence and anti-US sentiment has erupted over the release of the controversial film The Innocence of Muslims.
The film – which is being condemned as anti-Islamic – was broadcast on Egyptian Islamic television and has caused widespread anger amongst neighbouring countries. The result has been demonstrations and violent attacks, including the incident which took place on the US consulate in Libya, which led to the death of the US ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, Cunard, Celebrity and Princess Cruises have all altered their routes – or are monitoring the situation carefully – to avoid the troubled region – sighting the safety of their guests as paramount concern.
Holland America cancelled its call at Tunisia and replaced it with a visit to Sardinia, while Royal Caribbean called at Malta and Sicily instead of Alexandria, Egypt.