Semester at Sea is making last-minute changes to its current voyage due to the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.
“Based on events in the last few days in the Red Sea, Israel, Gaza, and elsewhere, conversations with U.S. Embassy officials across the Middle East, as well as multiple discussions with our ship management partners, and others, we determined that a Suez Canal-Red Sea-Gulf of Aden transit is not advisable at this time,” the company said in a prepared statement.
Instead, the World Odyssey will now head to Asia via the Atlantic and Africa, making visits to new ports of call in the region.
The revised itinerary features visits to Gibraltar and the Canary Islands before heading to Cape Town, in South Africa.
“Our staff and partners continue to work to adjust and finalize plans for ports beyond our South Africa stay,” the company said.
A visit to Mauritius and to an additional destination in East Africa are part of the plans, Semester at Sea added. The previously planned visits to India, however, may not happen due to the new anticipated route.
As originally scheduled, the current voyage is still expected to end in Bangkok, Thailand, on Dec. 22.
“While we recognize how disruptive this change will be, we’re confident it is the right one to make in light of the events of the last week and the ongoing crisis in the region,” Semester at Sea added.
The World Odyssey kicked off its current voyage in Belgium, on Sep. 9. The 105-day world voyage was originally set to cruise in Western Europe and the Mediterranean before heading to the Suez Canal and continuing to the Red Sea, the Arabic Gulf, India and Southeast Asia.
The itinerary included visits to several ports in the regions, such as Aqaba, in Jordan, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and Mumbai, in India.