The protests in Libya and Egypt over the film Innocence of Muslims resulted in the death of four Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi and the American flag torn down at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Due to these dangerous attacks in the Mideast, cruise ships are altering their itineraries to ensure the safety of their passengers during this time.
Innocence of Muslims is an anti-Islam film that mocks the Prophet Muhammad. The film, created by an American producer, has Muslims outraged. Extremists have resorted to attacks the U.S. Embassy's in Libya and Egypt, so cruise lines that normally have stops near these lands are changing their plans while the protests go on, according to Cruise Critic.
Holland America's 1,266-passenger Ryndam was scheduled to dock in La Goulette (Carthage) in Tunisia. Tunisia is on the northern border of Libya. Due to the protests in Libya, the Ryndam will now dock in Sardinia, Italy instead.'
Royal Caribbean is also taking precaution. They canceled their 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas overnight stay at Alexandria, Egypt on September 18. The ship will head to Sicily, Italy on September 16 and Valletta, Malta on September 17 instead.
Holland America and Royal Caribbean are the only cruise lines to make changes at this time, but more may be announced. Other cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises and Cunard are keeping a close watch on the events taking place in this area.
U.S. embassies in seven countries have issued travel warnings to Americans. The warnings come from embassies in Armenia, Burundi, Kuwait, Sudan, Tunisia, Zambia and Egypt. No specific threat is given, but with the anti-American sentiment in Muslim countries at this time, Americans are being advised to avoid these areas.
Cruise Critic notes that Oceania's Marina is scheduled to visit Alexandria on Oct. 3.
"The safety of our guests, crew and vessels is always our number one priority, and we will never place them in harm's way," a spokesperson told Cruise Critic." We are in contact with local authorities and closely assessing the situation."
Costa cruises, MSC and Holland America all have upcoming cruises scheduled to make stop in Egypt and Silversea, Princess and MSC have stops scheduled in Tunisia.