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Hi, the last time we tried to get into Istanbul, (3 years ago) the ship stopped at another Greek island instead, due to safety of passengers. Does anyone know if HAL or any other major line is doing this stop? Thanks

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Only a couple of 'luxury' lines are scheduled to stop in Istanbul this year (Ponant, Regent). 

 

Starting in 2020, HAL has three ships, each with several stops, in Istanbul during the Med season: Zuiderdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, and Veendam. They appear to be the only mass market line to include this stop. Oceania, Crystal, Silversea and Windstar also will have some stops there in 2020 along with the two lines mentioned above.

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Thanks, cruisemom4. I was wondering if anyone had actually been recently, as some lines post Istanbul on the itinerary, then change it during the cruise, as Oceania did with us.

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I think most lines have steered clear of Istanbul for a couple of years now and they have only just started to put it back on the itineraries. I imagine that they would not do so if they did not intend to stop there, but as with any cruise, if you book now for a cruise in 2020, many things could happen in the intervening months...

 

I don't believe there have been any recent 'incidents' there that would lead to a reconsideration, though.

 

 

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Kusadasi is on the itinerary for this fall on the Koningsdam.  But of course things could change.

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I guess I'll have to check out the koningsdam's cruise review if one is done. Thanks

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When I looked at the title of this thread, I thought maybe it was going to about ordering an extra turkey 🍗 leg in the dining room.

 

Roz

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15 hours ago, bennybear said:

Kusadasi is on the itinerary for this fall on the Koningsdam.  But of course things could change.

I would think there is less problem stopping in Kusadasi than Istanbul.  I believe the problem with stopping in Istanbul is the ongoing political turmoil under the current regime.  This is unfortunate because Istanbul has so much to offer. 

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Here is where the US State Dept warns not to travel in Turkey - agree Kusdasi is pretty much on the opposite end of this troubled border. Plus the entire city is suffering from the lack of tourism. It is in Turkey's best interests for their own people to keep this isolated area safe and secure. 

 

The State Department travel advisory also classified areas near the Syrian and Iraqi borders as “Level 4: Do Not Travel.”

“Do not travel near the Turkey/Syria and Turkey/Iraq borders due to the continued threat of civil war and attacks by terrorist groups. Terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, ambushes, car bomb detonations, and improvised explosive devices, as well as kidnappings for ransom, shootings, roadblocks, and violent demonstrations have occurred in these areas.”

 

 

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I will be on a cruise in 2020 that visits Kusadasi twice. It's definitely a city built on tourism and commerce, but luckily also so very convenient to a number of outstanding archaeological sites.

 

Of course, Istanbul is even further from the Syria border, but concerns there spring more from the fact that it is a) very Western in outlook compared with much of the interior of Turkey and b) has so many international tourists and visitors that any "demonstration" there is sure to get attention.

 

I have been to both places a number of times already on both land trips and cruises and wouldn't hesitate to visit either of them right now.  Unfortunately, it's an area of the world where things can unfold rapidly....

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We've booked a HAL cruise out of Venice in July 2020 that is scheduled to call on Istanbul.

 

If that port call falls off the itinerary before final payment we may reconsider.

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Posted (edited)

As I recall there were cautions about Istanbul even when we were there in 2008.  I remember when we were in the area of the Grand Bazaar, being pretty cautious (I wouldn't carry a purse in that area).  Did love walking thru the GB though and bought one or two small things.  It felt safer around the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia--they're close and the grounds between and around them are very open.  Note:  we went around on our own, not as part of a tour group.

Edited by BarbinMich

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