Royal Caribbean has canceled all scheduled stops in Turkey for the 2017 season, becoming the latest cruise line to do so following Carnival Corporation’s Cunard Line and P&O Cruises December decisions to stop sailing to the Mediteranean nation.
Disney Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises and MSC Cruises are among other cruise lines that cancelled all ports of call to Turkey in 2016.
Royal Caribbean says it made the decision due to the current unpredictability of events happening in the country, and that they are keeping the safety and wellbeing of both guests and crew members in mind after numerous terrorist attacks in the country in last year.
"We truly regret having to take this action and thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Any decision we make is made in an abundance of caution and safety, as your clients experience in our ports of call is always our utmost priority," Royal Caribbean said in a statement.
Royal Caribbean will replace all calls in Ephesus, Kusadasi with alternate ports-of-call for the 2017 Europe season.
The ships affected include the Brilliance of the Seas which will now sail to Mykonos, Greece, Jewel of the Seas which will travel to Rhodes, Greece and Rhapsody of the Seas which will visit Kotor, Montenegro, Chania, Greece or Mykonos, Greece-- depending on the date.
The U.S. State Department continues to warn Americans of “increased terror threats from terrorist groups in Turkey” in the latest travel warning issued Jan., 25.
“Carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time, and avoid travel to southeast Turkey due to the persistent threat of terrorism. The Department of State has placed restrictions on official travel by U.S. government personnel to Istanbul and to certain areas in southeast Turkey,” the department said on Oct. 29.
The news may come as a disappointment for guests hoping to see Turkey's ancient wonders but customers who purchased a Royal Caribbean Shore Excursion for a day in Kusadasi will receive a full refund.