|MSC Cruises Cancels Sailings in Egypt and Ukraine|
MSC Cruises has dropped the remainder of its 2015 calls in Ukraine and Egypt and has also begun to cancel stops in Egypt in 2016.
The line announced that it would replace the canceled port calls with alternatives in the Mediterranean, citing ongoing political unrest in the two countries.
MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera, MSC Fantasia and MSC Musica will, from autumn 2015 to winter 2016, incorporate Bulgaria, the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete, Cyprus and Israel into their sailings.
Rhodes, Greece and Heraklion, Crete replace Alexandria, Egypt on three departures on MSC Opera (September 28, October 10 and October 22, 2015) and six departures on MSC Fantasia (December 17 2015, January 8, January 30, February 21, March 14 and March 25 2016).
Burgas, Bulgaria replaces Odessa, Ukraine on two departures onboard MSC Sinfonia (September 17 and October 11, 2015).
In addition, Egyptian port calls have been removed from MSC Sinfonia's and MSC Musica's autumn repositioning cruises when the ships leave Europe in October and November and head for their winter home ports in Durban, South Africa and Dubai, UAE respectively. MSC Sinfonia will instead visit Heraklion, Crete and Eilat, Israel, and MSC Musica will call at Heraklion.
Several cruise lines -- both ocean and river -- have canceled calls in Egypt, Ukraine and Russia this year and next. In March, Seabourn announced cancellations in Safaga, Sharm el-Sheikh and Sohkna, while river cruise line Uniworld announced it would resume Nile River cruises on its River Tosca ship. Between March and October of 2014, eight ocean cruise lines cut Black Sea itineraries, and a number of river cruise lines have stopped sailing Russian rivers in 2015 and 2016 in recent months, citing "ongoing uncertainty" in the region.