Celebrity Cruises’ Edge-class Celebrity Apex will not be able to visit Israel as planned on the current sailing, due to safety concerns over ongoing violence in the region.
With the recent escalation of tension, the ship has altered course and changed its current itinerary to include an overnight visit to Cyprus instead.
Celebrity Apex Itinerary Change
Celebrity Apex is currently sailing a 10-night Israel, Egypt, and Mediterranean itinerary roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens), Greece, that departed on Friday, October 6, 2023.
Due to the overnight escalation of tensions in Israel, however, the ship will no longer be able to safely offer the original itinerary, which was to have included a visit to Haifa, Israel on Sunday, October 8 as well as a stop in Ashdod, Israel on Monday, October 9.
Instead, the ship will spend Saturday at sea – the same as originally planned – and will offer an overnight call in Limassol, Cyprus on Sunday and Monday, October 8 and 9.
The remainder of the itinerary – which includes visits to Alexandria, Egypt and Kusadasi, Turkey – is also being adjusted to arrive in Egypt earlier than planned for a longer stay, giving guests the opportunity for more exploration of that vibrant destination.
The 130,818-gross-ton Celebrity Apex joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in late 2021, having been delayed by the industry-wide pandemic shutdown. The ship has been offering Mediterranean and Greek Island cruises for the 2023 summer season, and is scheduled to make a westbound transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale departing on November 5, 2023.
For the winter season, Celebrity Apex will be homeported from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, offering a variety of 7-night Caribbean itineraries visiting top destinations such as Key West, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and more. In May 2024, the ship will again move to Europe for the summer season, this time homeporting from Southampton.
Celebrity Apex can welcome 3,405 guests onboard at double occupancy, and also has 1,320 international crew members to offer excellent service on every voyage.
More Changes Likely for Additional Ships
Cruising to Israel is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many travelers and while cruise lines always do their best to maintain original itineraries, the safety of the guests, crew, and ship are always the top priority.
Because tense situations can always change at the last minute, cruise lines must stay vigilant about new developments to keep all travelers safe.
Because the current situation is developing from hour to hour, it is not yet known whether other changes will be necessary to cruise ship itineraries that include Israel in the coming weeks.
Celebrity Apex is scheduled for another visit to the country on her next sailing, another 10-night Israel, Egypt, and Mediterranean itinerary identical to the one that has already been changed. If the tension has not cooled within a few days, it is unlikely the ship will be able to keep the original itinerary.
Other ships due to visit Israel in the coming days include Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas and Odyssey of the Seas, TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 5, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Gem, MSC Cruises’ MSC Musica, and other ships from Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Silversea, Costa Cruises, and more.
Guests booked on any upcoming sailings with visits to ports of call in Israel should stay in close contact with their cruise line for updates and itinerary adjustments.
As the situation is still developing, stay tuned for updates from Cruise Hive as additional itinerary changes and cruise line plans are confirmed.