Crystal Cruises will skip two upcoming calls in Turkish ports because of “ongoing security concerns for travel within Istanbul.”
Sailings on the Crystal Symphony leaving on April 25 and May 1 will skip planned stops in Istanbul and Kusadasi, and will instead stop in Greek ports. April and November sailings aboard Crystal’s new yacht, the Crystal Esprit, also will be changed, though the new itineraries haven’t been finalized yet.
According to Crystal CEO and president Edie Rodriguez, the changes were made in an effort to allow cruisers to continue with their sailings “without the added worry of security in a particular destination.”
Istanbul has been the site of several terror attacks, including one this week that killed 10 German tourists in the tourist center of the city.
The new Crystal itineraries are as follows:
April 24 (7 days) – Athens/Piraeus, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Souda Bay/Chaina, Navplion (overnight), Hydra and Athens/Piraeus (overnight), Greece.
May 1 (12 days) – Athens/Piraeus (overnight), Patmos, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Navplion and Argostolios, Greece; Crotone, Sorrento, and Rome/Civitavecchia, Italy.
Pre-reserved shore excursions for the Turkish ports will automatically be canceled and new excursions at the Greek stops will be released soon and made available on the Crystal website.
'Potential for violence'
The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning about Turkey in September that said “citizens traveling to or residing in Turkey should be alert to the potential for violence.”
“We strongly urge U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” it added.
Other countries—including Denmark and Germany—issued similar warnings after the attack in Istanbul this week.
ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby issued a statement about Turkey on Friday, saying that the attacks "remind us that no country or region of the world is immune to the danger those intent on doing harm can bring."
"ASTA stands united with our members in those countries and our travel industry partners around the world who need support in times of trouble," he continued.