In view of the State Dept. warning to avoid travel to Turkey, does anyone have any definitive information on consideration by Princess of substitute ports? I see that Rome and Malta are being mentioned, but is this more than a rumor?
As far as I have heard, no changes have been made to the itinerary. I am surprised that the ships cruising the Med (from all lines) have not been pulled. I am sure that they are hoping that the war is over before they head the ships over there, but am also sure that they have a contingency they are are not publicizing yet. From what I hear, the ships are sailing at a low capacity, a definite sign that people are afraid to sail to those areas.
Another reason for avoiding those areas is the attitude they have towards Americans. I'm glad I did my European cruising last September when they still appreciated Americans for traveling to Europe.
Also travelling on july 15 Barcelona to Venice that I booked today considering the global situation. I have read on another board, that as of this time, Princess have not yet cancelled Turkey but are monitoring the situation. Alternate ports are, Civittechia (sp) Italy, and Vallerta, Malta. I really do not care, but would love to see Turkey, I hear that it is special.
Looking forward to going, now that I have a bed, I need to get air.
I'm not persuaded that there's any problem with the Turkish ports of call (Istanbul and Kusadasi). These ports, in the western part of Turkey, are over 500 miles away from any problems along the border with Iraq or in the Kurdish region of Turkey.
Of course, Princess will shuffle the itineraries so you'll be safe if the situation changes.
Golden Princess had delayed their cruises to Turkish ports but as I beleive it is not the corcern of security but law bookings.
The rumors we hear on this end in Istanbul and Kusadası they will be restarting after June.
Many of the Cruise Lines are already in Turkey and according to what I see is Turkey is the safest country.
I hope you can make the trip.
We were in Turkey 10 days ago and I would just like to let you know that we had a amazing time in Kusadasi and Istanbul with Ekol travel.
I felt welcome and at home from the minute that I arrived. The places that we visited were incredible. You can visit www.ekoltravel.com for all your private shore tours in Istanbul and in Kusadasi.
Just got back from the Golden 05/18. We did call in Kusadasi and in Istanbul as planned. I can only tell you it was the highlight of the trip - and that is saying alot considering that each day and each port just got better than the last. The memories are still warm in my heart. You will love Turkey and its wonderrful, warm and generous people. Can't wait to go back.
I can only tell you it was the highlight of the trip - and that is saying alot considering that each day and each port just got better than the last. The memories are still warm in my heart.
I last went to Turkey about four years ago, and my sentiments are much like yours. The art and the architecture of Istanbul are amazing, as are the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus.
My "Venetian Explorer" cruise aboard MV Grand Princess originated in Istanbul, then went to Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Pireaus (for Athens), Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), and Naples, in that order, before ending in Venice. We also had overnight stays aboard ship to allow time for sightseeing in both Istanbul and Venice. The art and the architecture that we saw in the first five ports was so incredible that Florence -- a city noted for its art and architecture -- was a major disappointment.
We may have been on the same cruise and I agree with you thumbnail assessment. I felt that the Venetian Explorer itinerary was the best possible arrangement of ports as it allowed us 2 days to explore Istanbul prior to the arrival of the Grand and 3 days post-cruise in the magical city of Venice. We still correspond with our guide in Istanbul and have fond memories of her and the hospitable Turkish people. The Ciragan Palace Hotel was fantastic and we intend to return to Turkey in the near future.