Celestyal halts all calls to Israel

Author: Kaye Holland

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The cruise line will temporarily suspend all calls to Israel until the end of November

The situation will be monitored for any itineraries departing after this date. The decision to amend Israel itineraries affects Celeystal’s seven-night Three Continents sailings with departures on October 21 and 28, and November 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2023.

Celestyal will contact all affected customers and agents directly in the coming days.

Chief executive Chris Theophilides said: “Firstly, as a business, our thoughts are with those touched by the events in Israel. We wish for the safety of everyone affected and a rapid return of peace to the country.

“We are in close co-ordination with the authorities, and the safety, security, and comfort of our guests remains our upmost priority.

“On the advice of our internal teams and the relevant authorities we have decided to temporarily remove Israel from our Three Continents itinerary until the end of November this year.

MSC Cruises has also amended its Israel itineraries. As a result, MSC Musica will no longer call in the Israeli city of Haifa this Thursday (October 12), and will instead sail to Limassol.

Calls to Haifa on October 19 and 26 will be replaced by Rhodes, while the planned November 2 call in the city will be replaced by a stop in Marmaris.

Meanwhile a call to Haifa by MSC Sinfonia planned on October 16 will be replaced with Bodrum.

MSC Cruises said: “The safety of our guests and crew is always our upmost priority and in an evolving situation such as this we will modify our itineraries as needed.”

A spokesperson for cruise trade body Clia said: “Our thoughts are with all who are impacted by the attacks on Israel.

“As always, the safety and security of guests, crew and the communities we visit are of the utmost importance for Clia and its members.

“Our cruise line members are closely monitoring the situation and adjusting itineraries as needed in the best interest of passengers and crew.

“We urge travellers who are considering or have current plans to sail to the region to check directly with their cruise line or travel agent for the current status of their sailings.”

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]