Amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, cruise companies are cancelling their scheduled stops in Egypt and Jordan.

Amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, cruise companies are cancelling their scheduled stops in Egypt and Jordan.

The planned routes for cruises in the Middle East have been disrupted as a result of the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza.

Due to the ongoing conflict, a major cruise company has decided to cancel all of its trips to the Red Sea until April 17th, 2024.

The Suez Canal cruise will proceed as planned, but seven of the scheduled ports of call will be eliminated.

Israel has been a well-liked choice for cruise trips in the eastern portion of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The cities of Haifa and Ashdod are often included in Mediterranean cruises, while Eilat is a significant stop on Red Sea itineraries.

After Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th, cruise companies took swift action to eliminate Israeli ports from their planned routes.

Authorities are cautioning against visiting Israel and cruise ships will not be making stops there for an unknown period of time. However, The Independent has discovered that there will be significant alterations to travel plans for the winter season and up until 2024. These changes and cancellations will impact numerous trips and a large number of passengers.

MSC Cruises has decided to cancel the previously scheduled MSC Orchestra trips in the Red Sea from November 8, 2023 to April 17, 2024. The planned itinerary included stops at three ports in the Egyptian Red Sea: Sharm El Sheikh, a popular resort destination; Port Sokhna, located approximately 60 miles southeast of Cairo; and Safaga, situated around 100 miles northeast of Luxor.

Also, the itinerary included a 14-hour stop in Aqaba, Jordan, where passengers could take tours to see Petra. There was also a lengthy stop in Jeddah, the primary cruise port in Saudi Arabia.

MSC Cruises stated that they canceled the trip due to the close proximity of certain ports to Israel and the numerous restrictions in neighboring countries that would have negatively impacted the passengers’ vacation experience.

“The winter programme for MSC Sinfonia from 12 November 2023 to 15 April 2024 has been cancelled as the ship’s main highlight in its itinerary was Haifa in Israel.”

According to MSC, passengers have the option to request a complete reimbursement or select a different sailing.

Several other cruise companies are still using the Suez Canal route in Egypt, but are modifying their scheduled routes significantly.

The Nautica, departing from Barcelona on November 18th bound for Dubai, will no longer make seven scheduled stops. Instead, it will travel directly from Crete’s Heraklion port to the United Arab Emirates, skipping visits to Haifa, Port Said, and Safaga in Egypt, Aqaba in Jordan, and the Omani ports of Salalah and Muscat.

The terms of the company state: “Oceania Cruises reserves the right to change all itineraries, including embarkation and debarkation points, at any time before or during the voyage.”

Oceania Cruises has the authority to modify, cancel, or replace any aspect of travel without informing the guest beforehand. This includes accommodations, destinations, or means of transportation, if deemed necessary due to unforeseen circumstances.

The eastern Mediterranean itinerary for Celebrity Infinity, scheduled for February to April 2024, has been cancelled. The original plan was to depart from Athens and visit Haifa, Ashdod, Alexandria in Egypt, and Kusadasi in Turkey.

The company has stated that guests who have made reservations will have the option to cancel their cruise and receive a complete refund, or they will be given an onboard credit as a gesture of goodwill for the change in itinerary.