In an effort to protect passengers, fourteen U.S. tour operators have cancelled cruise ship calls to Tunisia after Islamic terrorists attacked the American embassy earlier this month protesting an American film that mocks Islam.
Cruise ship operators, including Royal Caribbean, Holland American and Disney Cruise altered their itineraries that made port calls at La Goulette-Tunis from now until the end of December. As a result of the cancellation, around 40,000 passengers that would have been on 14 ships will not be making a stop in Tunis. While this may be good news for passengers, who are wary of a cruise ship accident at port, the head of the La Goulette-Tunis port authority, Sahbene Ben Fadhel, is not too thrilled.
“We were surprised by the increasing number of cancellations that were announced consecutively,” said Ben Fadhel, adding that the cancelled stops will hit hard on Tunis’ economy, as tourism represents seven percent of gross domestic product in Tunisia and the sector employs 400,000 people directly and indirectly.
The ships are being diverted due to an attack by Islamist radicals on the U.S. embassy in Tunis on September 14, which left four people dead and several others wounded. Embassy staff members were evacuated from Tunis, and Americans had been warned by federal authorities to avoid travelling to Tunisia.
The violence erupted as fundamentalists retaliated against the American film, “Innocence of Muslims,” a low-budged documentary that mocks Islam. Protestors have taken to the streets and have been targeting areas in which Americans reside since mid-September, not just in Tunesia, but in all areas of unrest where Muslims reside, including an American school in the capital. A separate attack on September 11 in Libya also caused a stir. The incident took place in the city of Benghazi and fatally wounded four Americans, including the ambassador, Chris Stevens.
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While these cruise ships may have changed their itineraries, other vessels do not, placing passengers and crew in harm’s way. Cruise lines have a responsibility to protect those onboard, whether it involves diverting from a planned itinerary or making sure those who are injured get the medical attention they deserve. In the event that an injury or fatality occurs, they may be held liable for their actions. Our cruise accident attorneys understand the severity of incidents that take place onboard or at sea and will work to secure the best possible outcome for your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, and our cruise injury lawyers will make sure you receive the maximum benefits you deserve. With over 165 years of combined experience in representing those involved in maritime accidents, our cruise ship accident lawyers will not rest until your case resolves favorably. Call our maritime law firm to discuss your options today.