Cruise lines like Holland America, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Star Clippers, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Aida Cruises have canceled all port stops to Tunisia for the rest of the year following the jihadist terrorist attack and massacre in the capital March 18th.
Seventeen cruisers from Costa Cruises and MSC Cruises ships visiting Tunis for the day were killed in Wednesday's attack, which took place at the city's Bardo National Museum. More than 20 other cruisers were wounded.
The Seattle-based Holland America has announced that two ships scheduled to visit the country over the next two-and-a-half months as part of Mediterranean sailings instead will head to ports on the Italian island of Sardinia.
Costa has also canceled all remaining 39 port stops to the country. In lieu of Tunis, Costa Fortuna will call at Barcelona, Spain; Costa Favolosa will call at Barcelona and Tarragona, Spain; and Costa neoRiviera will call at Malta and Trapani, Italy.
Joe Borg, a spokesman for Hamilton Travel, agents for MSC, said the Italian company decided to replace Tunis with Malta for its Western Mediterranean cruise. After the attack, MSC said it was dropping Tunis as a stopover port for the rest of the year. “The company immediately chose Malta as a replacement,” Borg said.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has canceled Europa's port stop in Tunis on April 6, 2015. Star Clippers has canceled port calls in Hammamet in April and October 2015 for Star Clipper and AIDA has canceled all port calls in La Goulette for AIDAblu, AIDAsol and AIDAvita.
A spokesperson for P&O Cruises said in a statement: "Following tragic events in Tunis we are monitoring the situation and taking advice from relevant authorities. Should it be deemed necessary we will of course alter itineraries for cruises to Tunis accordingly and contact our passengers to advise."
Norwegian Cruise Line dropped calls in Tunisia last year after Israeli passengers on one of the line's ships were not allowed to disembark at the port.
North African country has been popular with European tourists, and Tunisia’s president and a social media campaign urge people to visit in solidarity. The terror attack is a fresh blow to the nation’s tourism industry, which has been struggling ever since the country’s revolution of 2011.
“When (tourists) come, it’s a message that they are sending to Tunisians, that they are in solidarity,” Beji Caid Essebsi said.