MSC Cruises has dropped calls at Tunisia from its 2015/16 winter programme, linking its decision to last week’s declaration of a state of emergency in the north African country.
The company told IHS Maritime that a total of 24 cruises would be affected and that its decision was irrevocable. “The situation will not change for the winter schedules, even if the state of emergency is lifted,” a company representative said.
Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi declared a 30-day state of emergency on 4 July, warning that another attack like the one that killed 38 people at a beach hotel in Sousse on 27 June would “cause the country to collapse”.
MSC Cruises itself has already been affected by a terrorist attack in Tunisia this year. A dozen passengers from the company’s MSC Splendida were among 22 people killed in an attack by three gunmen at Tunis’s Bardo National Museum on 18 March. Photo: PA
The company said today that calls planned by MSC Preziosa at La Goulette, the port of the city of Tunis, between 15 November and 23 April next year would be switched to the Maltese port of Valletta.
Related news:Cruise firms replace Tunis with Valletta
Calls due to be made in La Goulette in November and December by MSC Magnifica and MSC Poesia have also been dropped. These calls, which were part of Grand Voyage cruises to be made by the two vessels from the Mediterranean to Santos in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina, have been switched to Alicante in Spain.