A few weeks back, we wrote that Egypt was still a river cruise destination worth considering. Of course, in the meantime, the situation there has once again flared up, prompting Avalon Waterways to take action.
Due to the current unrest in Egypt, the company has cancelled all of its Egyptian departures through the month of August, and will reassess the viability of restarting them in September throughout the month.
Those guests booked on one of the affected sailings aboard the Mayfair have been given the option to rebook any other vacation that Globus, Avalon’s parent company, offers; or they can elect to cancel with no penalty and receive a full cash refund.
So what happened in Egypt, anyway?
It began when the Egyptian Military, led by General Abdel Fattah Sisi, removed President Mohamed Morsi from office and seized control of the country. Morsi had evaporated the goodwill of most Egyptians in late November of last year, when he passed a temporary constitutional declaration that gave him unrestricted powers.
By July 3, a coup had taken place which saw President Morsi removed from power.
Where things get tricky – and where so much of Egypt’s current instability comes from – is that these events are playing out in largely uncharted waters. Pro-and-anti-Morsi protestors have clashed violently, and reporters embedded at the scene have seen the military open fire on protestors.
Much of the fighting has taken place in and around the city of Cairo.
If you are booked on an upcoming Egyptian river cruise this fall, your best course of action right now is to sit tight. Cancelling your voyage now will still incur standard cancellation penalties, but if the cruise lines decide it’s time to pull the plug – and they will, if necessary – then you will be covered by whatever offers they may have at the time.
More information on the situation in Egypt and its impact on river cruising will be available here on River Cruise Advisor as it develops.