Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises ships will not be cruising to Turkey in 2016. Parent company Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings has canceled all 61 calls the company had scheduled for Istanbul and other Turkish ports this year.
The company said, “At Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, our primary concern is to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew. Due to recent events in Turkey, we are suspending all calls to the country through 2016 across all NCLH brands. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make future itinerary adjustments as appropriate. We have begun the process of informing guests booked on the affected cruises of the itinerary changes and will update the respective brand websites with revised voyage information."
Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of NCLH, said that the decision to remove Turkey from itineraries was "painful," but was due to security concerns. "It's the right thing to do but I feel terrible about it," he said. Rio added, "We're hopeful by 2017 we will once again have the confidence to return to Turkey."
Norwegian Cruise Line alone was to visit Turkey 32 times this spring, summer and fall, bringing nearly 100,000 passengers and crew. Seventeen Oceania cruises and 12 Regent cruises are also impacted.
MSC Cruises earlier this week, luxury line Crystal Cruises and Disney Cruises also announced similar drops in calls to Turkey in the last weeks. Costa Cruises and Celebrity Cruises both cancelled some itineraries last fall.