Cruise shipping adds Tunisian calls following attacks
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No cruises to Tunisia in 2015 or 2016 have been cancelled following a second round of terror attacks in the North African country’s resort town of Sousse, with Cruise Arabia & Africa reporting that 200 cruise itineraries have been added for 2016.
When two gunmen opened fire on tourists on the beach of the Imperial Marhaba Hotel in Sousse, killing at least 38 people, including 15 British holidaymakers, there were 326 cruises scheduled to visit the capital Tunis in 2016, with 46 cruises due to call through the rest of this year.
At the time of writing, Tunis had reportedly been added as a cruise port on a further 200 cruise itineraries, with a total of 527 cruise itineraries now featuring the city, according to Middle East cruise website Cruise Arabia & Africa.
The March 18th gun attack on tourists visiting the Bardo National Museum in Tunis, saw 20 foreign tourists and 4 Tunisians killed, 17 of them cruise passengers from MSC Splendida and Costa Fascinosa who were on a shore excursion.
Cruise lines, including MSC and Costa Cruises, dropped Tunis as a port of call following those attacks, dealing a severe blow to Tunisia’s tourism industry, which is the nation’s principle source of employment and foreign currency.
The June 26th Sousse terror attacks by a local group reportedly affiliated with ISIS have once more rocked the nation, but in 2016, MSC Cruises will sail 77 Mediterranean cruise itineraries with Tunis as a major port of call for both MSC Poesia and MSC Preziosa.
Costa Cruises will sail 23 cruise itineraries featuring Tunis through next year, while Croisieres De France (CDF) are offering 17 cruise itineraries with Tunis as a port of call.
These three cruise lines are the brands visiting Tunis the most during next year’s cruise season, but several other lines, including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Viking Ocean Cruises and Star Clippers, will be calling at Tunis as well.
All seven cruise lines were reportedly asked for comment, but all refused to comment in an official capacity as they were “reviewing the situation” before deciding on changes to itineraries.
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