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Tunis dropped by cruise firms following museum massacre: Mass cancellations come amid stark warning that ‘further attacks are possible’
- Decision made by group which looks after 50 operators, including P&O
- Thomson and First Choice said they had also cancelled voyages to Tunis
- Comes after stark warning from Foreign Office over more possible attacks
- It advised tourists to only travel to country’s interior with ‘reputable guide’
- Fears that as many as 6,500 British holidaymakers could still be in country
Cruise companies last night cancelled all stops in Tunis following the terrorist attack.
An association which looks after more than 50 cruise operators – including P&O, Thomson and Cunard – said no ships would be calling at the city ‘in the foreseeable future’.
The mass cancellations follow a stark warning from the Foreign Office that ‘further attacks are possible’. The FCO has also advised holidaymakers to only travel to the interior of the country with a ‘reputable tour guide’.
Italian operators MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises, used by hundreds of British tourists each year, have already scrapped planned stops to Tunisian ports with immediate effect and said they were ‘seeking alternative ports’.
Holiday companies Thomson and First Choice said they had also cancelled voyages to Tunis, while P&O, Princess and Celebrity cruises said they were taking advice from security services. A spokesman for the Cruise Lines International Association said last night: ‘No CLIA member ships are scheduled to call at Tunis in the foreseeable future.
‘Cruise lines coordinate closely with national and international authorities when visiting destinations around the globe to help ensure passenger safety.’
Last year, 425,000 British holidaymakers visited Tunisia and last night there were fears that as many as 6,500 could still be in the country.
However a spokesman for Thomson and First Choice said: ‘Our customers stay in beach destinations, not Tunis, and we can confirm that none of our customers or staff were affected by Wednesday’s events.’ He added that, as a precaution, all excursions to Tunis have been cancelled.
Meanwhile a spokesman for travel agent association ABTA said the tourist season was only just getting under way but safety was always a priority. He told Sky News: ‘Tourist numbers to Tunisia have picked up over the last two years and we have had very healthy bookings for this summer. The season really picks up around mid-April to May.