Cruisers Return to Ports in Turkey

By ,   May 8, 2018 ,   Cruise Industry

Most of the leading cruise companies announced their return to Turkey’s ports.

The cruise tourism in the country suffered a plunge in 2016 amid the escalation in security worries and geopolitical concerns. The number of cruise passengers plummeted to 306,000 last year from almost 2 million in previous years, as nearly all cruise operators diverted Turkey tours to other countries, including Greece.

Due to the ease in security concerns, cruise ship operators started to add Turkey to their itineraries again. Nearly 500,000 cruise tourists are expected to visit Turkey in 2018. Sector professionals anticipate strong rebound by 2019.

The ultra-luxurious cruiser Azamara Journey is set to visit Kusadasi on May 15, according to company representatives.

Port of Kusadasi

Image: Port of Kusadasi (Ephesus, Turkey)

According to Royal Carribean Turkey’s Communications & Marketing Director Cihangir Canıyılmaz, that would be the first trip of their company to Turkey in 2018. He added they were planning a larger number of travelers to Turkey. 2020 would be much better.

Norwegian Cruise Line earlier announced it would add Kusadasi to its routes this year. Holland America is also set to return to ports in Turkey by 2020.

MSC Cruises is expected to start its İzmir and Antalya trips in 2019.