Today I received a message from a passenger aboard the Celebrity Equinox that the Equinox was skipping the port of Istanbul because of the threat of terrorism.
Gabriele Giambrone commented that "Celebrity Equinox canceled our planned stop in Istanbul tomorrow due to terrorist fears and high security alerts. We will be having a day at sea instead."
He states on his Facebook page that "this is an announcement from your Captain: due to high security risks and an increased risk of terrorist attacks, we won’t be going to Istanbul tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your holiday."
The Wall Street Journal recently mentioned "a spate of attacks across Turkey that targeted security forces and a U.S. consulate killed six people."
"A recent surge in violence on Turkish soil has largely been blamed on the domestic conflict with Kurdish separatist group PKK, not Islamic State . . . Turkey is now battling a chaotic mix of the PKK, Marxist militants and Islamic State while dealing with a huge influx of Syrian refugees."
Costa recently canceled all stops in Turkey.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have a Global Security Team headed by former FBI senior official Gary Bald. Foreign port safety assessment is a function of every cruise line. It’s good to see cruise lines taking affirmative steps to keep passengers and crew members safe, rather than Costa and MSC sailing their guests blindly into a danger spot like Tunis earlier this year.
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Photo Credit: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR) via Wikipedia Creative Commons 3.0