The situation in Egypt continues to deteriorate, with the United Kingdom and Germany including all of Egypt on their travel advisory lists, in addition to the United States, Canada, and numerous other countries.
Many cruise lines have already scrubbed the remainder of their 2013 calls on Egyptian ports, and most — but not all — river cruise lines are following suit.
Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways are still taking bookings for the winter months of 2013, but Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has gutted the remainder of its 2013 season, and has not as yet released any details or plans for sailings in 2014.
The prolonged instability in Egypt has had a dramatic effect on river cruises that ply the historic Nile River. Bookings for the 2012-2013 seasons have been operating far under capacity, and the number of guests continuing to sail to the region has continued to drop steadily as 2013 enters its final months.
River cruise lines aren’t the only ones getting out of Egypt. Reuters reports that TUI Germany and Thomas Cook Travel have cancelled itineraries scheduled to operate in the area, and German low-cost airline AirBerlin will not accept new bookings to its Egyptian destinations until September 15.
Although some countries do not currently have advisories out for Red Sea destinations like Sharm El Sheikh, it is a reasonable assumption that unless you absolutely have to travel to those destinations, avoiding them – at least for the meantime – is probably a wise decision.
At this point, there is little information on when river cruises will return to normal in Egypt, as issues relating to the country’s current political instability have to be resolved first. But it is a reasonable assumption that river cruising, just like deep ocean cruising and land tours, will indeed become a reality again as soon as conditions improve.
We’ll continue to have more information relating to the situation in Egypt as it pertains to the river cruise industry as it becomes available.