Fred. Olsen has cancelled a call to the port of Alexandria after a terrorist attack in Egypt on April 9th.
Currently 95 days into a world cruise, the line’s recently renovated vessel, Black Watch, has been forced to make adjustments to more of its scheduled itinerary over the weekend. Safaga, Egypt, has been replaced with Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and Alexandria with Heraklion, Crete.
The changes have been made in the aftermath of the two explosions that took place over the weekend, one in Tanta and the other in St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, killing 44 people and leading to Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah-al-Sisi, announcing a three month state of emergency.
In a statement, Fred. Olsen said: “To ensure the safety and security of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ guests and crew, Safaga replaced Sharm el-Sheikh on Black Watch’s Around the World cruise itinerary last week, and the ship is calling at Heraklion, Crete, today, in place of Alexandria.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt closely and will act in accordance with guidelines from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other relevant agencies to ensure that our guests and crew are kept as safe and secure as possible at all times.”
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to North Sinai and only to South Sinai if essential, with the exception of the area within the Sharm el-Sheikh perimeter barrier.
The FCO website advises travellers to “remain vigilant” and “follow the advice of local security officials.”
The FCO have also been warned by the Israeli authorities of “an increased possibility of terrorist attacks in South Sinai, especially during the Passover festival, which in 2017 runs from 10 to 18 April.”
A number of other cruise lines are due to call on Egyptian ports in the next few days, such as P&O Cruises & Silversea. It is expected that they will make similar alterations to their itineraries to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew.
What do you think of the news? Should Fred Olsen sail to Egypt at all during a state of emergency? How would you feel about the itinerary being altered last minute in this situation? Let us know in the comments below…