Following the recent tragic events at the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey we have received a notification from Celebrity Cruises informing us of their decision to cancel all further stops in Istanbul.
“As you may be aware, this past year there have been substantial security events in several major global cities, including the recent terror attack at the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey.
After reviewing all of the available information and along with discussions with our Global Security team, Celebrity Cruises has decided to cancel all of its upcoming turnarounds in Istanbul, Turkey, and replaced them with Athens (Piraeus), Greece.”
Celebrity Cruises has two ships visiting the port of Istanbul this season: Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Constellation.
The decision impacts the following cruises:
Celebrity Equinox: July 9, July 16, August 25 and September 7
Celebrity Constellation: October 10, October 21, November 2 and November 14
The 7 night Greece & Turkey cruise onboard Celebrity Equinox departing in Piraeus/Athens on July 9, with stops in Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos and Kusadasi will now return to Athens instead of arriving in Istanbul.
Consequently the 7 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise which was to depart in Istanbul on July 16 will now depart from Piraeus/Athens before visiting Mykonos, Valetta (Malta), Catania and Positano prior to arriving in Civitavecchia/Rome
The 13 night Greece & Turkey cruise departing in Piraeus/Athens on August 25 will now return to Athens after visiting Dubrovnik, Split, Corfu, Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos and Kusadasi.
The 13 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise which is to follow will depart from Piraeus/Athens on September 7. Stops on this cruise include Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens, Dubrovnik, Civitavecchia/Rome, Livorno, Nice and Barcelona.
The 11 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation which starts in Venice on Ocober 10 will now probably end with an overnight stay in Piraeus/Athens. Stops on this itinerary include Dubrovnik, Kotor, Civitavecchia/Rome, Positano and Catania.
The following 12 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise will now depart Piraeus on October 21. Ports of call include Kusadasi, Rhodes, Limassol, Haifa, Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Valetta (Malta) before terminating in Civitavecchia /Rome.
The 12 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise, which was supposed to return from Rome, on November 2, to Istanbul, will stop in Naples, Catania, Athens, Ashdod, Haifa and Kusadasi before returning to Athens.
The last cruise affected by the changes is the 14 night Middle East cruise leaving November 14. Originally departing from Istanbul, with a stop in Athens prior to cruising through the Suez Canal, Celebrity Constellation will now stay the night in Piraeus before starting her repositioning cruise. Before reaching her new homeport of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the ship will stop in Aqaba (Jordan) and Muscat (Oman).
This decision to cancel Istanbul as port of call “was made with the safety of our guests and crew at the forefront of our minds and in an abundance of caution.”
Celebrity Cruises’ notification continues: “We realize this may have an impact on your travel plans and our team is working now on available alternative arrangements from this new port of embark and debarkation.”
So far we are booked on the November 2 cruise from Rome to (now) Piraeus/Athens. Though having the original itinerary changed is never a pleasant experience, we understand that in light of recent events Celebrity Cruises had no choice but to cancel the port of Istanbul.