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Citing security concerns, Celebrity drops overnights in Istanbul

Citing security concerns, Celebrity drops overnights in Istanbul
Celebrity Cruises has suspended overnight calls in Istanbul, citing security concerns in Turkey. A number of cruises in September and October are impacted. In most cases, the ships are still turning around in Istanbul but will not stay overnight.

A spokesman said Celebrity has been closely monitoring situation in Turkey and decided, 'in an abundance of caution,' to cancel the Istanbul overnights. The line has been contacting passengers and their travel agents regarding the modified itineraries.

They include Celebrity Equinox's Sept. 7 and 19 departures, Celebrity Constellation's Sept. 18 and 30 and Oct. 12 and 23 cruises, and Celebrity Reflection's Sept. 21 and Oct. 23 voyages.

Several weeks ago Costa Crociere dropped calls at Turkish ports for the balance of 2015. The move followed two people opening fire outside the US Consulate in Istanbul on Aug. 10.

Last week the US Department of State updated its Turkey travel warning, which states, in part: 'US citizens traveling to or residing in Turkey should be alert to the potential for violence. In the recent past, terrorists have conducted attacks on US interests in Turkey, as well as at sites frequented by foreign tourists. '

Meanwhile, the UK last week also updated its Turkey travel advice, which mentions 'a high threat from terrorism' and cites an Aug. 19 incident involving gunfire and a sound grenade in an attack on Turkish national police guards stationed outside Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, as well as the earlier US Consulate incident.