Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Unrest in Tunisia Prompts Cruise Changes

Costa Magica Location courtesy of Costa Cruises / Google Maps
Updated March 10, 2011     Travel Alert  Tunisia 
A travel alert remains in effect for Tunisia, due to the ongoing social and political unrest. Unrest has diminished and public order has returned in many areas; however, spontaneous and unpredictable events, such as work stoppages and demonstrations, have recently occurred. (click link above for US Dept State alert)

Costa Cruises drops Tunisia, Egypt, Israel for rest of year due to unrest in region 
On Mediterranean 7-day cruises including a one day call at Tunis (Tunisia), this call has been replaced by a one day call at Palma de Mallorca (Spain) Malta or Cagliari (Italy).
Update: February 14, 2011
Additional cruise cancellations have been made by MSC Cruises.  The following ships are affected: 
  • MSC Fantasia from the 16th of April to the 15th of October 2011 
  • MSC Splendida from the 10th April to the 06th of November 2011 
  • MSC Lirica from the 18th of April to the 07th of October 
  • MSC Sinfonia from the 04th of June to the 15th of October 

In case that the situation gets back to normal, the original itinerary will be respected and the call at Tunis will be operated as usual. Updates will  be posted on MSC's website.

Related Blog Post:
SeaDream II Skips Tunisia

Costa Magica Skips Tunisia

Costa Magica's scheduled port of call to Tunis on Monday was cancelled and replaced with Ajaccio due to the political unrest in Tunisia.  Fortunately this is low season for Europe cruises so this is the only impacted cruise ship.    There were several cruises scheduled to call in Tunis over the next few weeks.   Passengers will be informed of additional changes.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the current political and social unrest in Tunisia and recommends deferring non-essential travel to Tunisia at this time. A state of emergency was declared in Tunisia on January 14.

The civil unrest has recently spread to Tunis and all major cities, including popular tourist destinations. These spontaneous and unpredictable events have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in multiple deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage.

Travel Summary for Tunisia
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth office advise against all but essential travel to Tunisia. 

A State of Emergency was declared on the afternoon of 14 January under which it is illegal for more than two people to congregate in a public place, including in cars. Parliamentary Speaker Foued Mbazaa has taken over as interim president. It was announced on 17 January that a Government of National Unity had been formed.

The situation overnight (18-19January) in Tunisia was quieter but incidents of violence and looting are still possible. There were further demonstrations in a number of cities across the country yesterday and these are expected to continue today (19 January). The risk of sporadic violence and looting remains.

Consult either the UK or US sites for additional information.

Travel advice by country (UK)
Country Specific Information for Tunisia (US)

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