Celebrity Cruises canceled overnights in Istanbul

By ,   September 8, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

Celebrity Cruises canceled all overnights in Istanbul for the rest of cruise season due to the ongoing security concerns: 3 ships (Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Reflection) and 8 itineraries are affected.

Celebrity skipped overnight stops in Istanbul already twice in the past weeks. The latest move came just 4 days after the U.S. government issued Travel Warning for Turkey. It stated that U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Turkey should be alert to potential for violence.

The 1st affected sailing, which departed on September 7 (Monday), is a 13-night voyage out of Barcelona on Celebrity Equinox. The itinerary will remain the same until the end of cruise which will include one extra sea day instead of one overnight in Istanbul, though finishing in the city.

Other changes include:

  • 4 voyages on Celebrity Constellation: Sept 18 & 30; Oct 12 & 23. The cruise ship will sail out of Istanbul port on the same day instead of offering an overnight, and then will spend a day at sea, visiting Crete the next day.
  • Celebrity Equinox: Sept 19. The cruise will depart from Istanbul on Sept 19, instead of Sept 20, and spend a day at sea. The Equinox will call at the same ports, with slightly later departure times from Athens/Piraeus, Kusadasi/Ephesus and Mykonos.
  • Celebrity Reflection: Sept 21; Oct 12. The itinerary of the ship is significantly changed, including an overnight in Athens replacing the overnight in Istanbul, as well as stops in Crete and Rhodes.

A statement from the line said that due to the security concerns in Turkey, Celebrity had cancelled all overnight stays in Istanbul. The company appreciated guests' cooperation and understanding, and was "looking forward to welcoming them aboard". The statement added that the security and safety of passengers and crew was always foremost. Celebrity would continue to monitor the situation in Turkey and had been contacting guests and travel agents about modifications to upcoming itineraries.

The move follows that of Costa Cruises, which in August canceled all stopovers in the port for the rest of cruise season.