Agency Marketing Egypt Current History Cruise
Azamara Club Cruises
The idea for the "Freedom Evolution" cruise on the 294-passenger Azamara Quest came from customers, Cruise.com President Anthony Hamawy tells AOL Travel News.
"Our sales department said they were getting calls from customers inquiring about cruises in that region, wanting to see if there was anything that would get them to that area to be a part of history. We were actually surprised ourselves," Hamawy says.
The current history cruise, which will also feature excursions to some of Egypt's famous historic sites, will embark on November 17.
A slew of tour operators and cruise lines have made itinerary changes to avoid the political turmoil in Egypt, canceling tours and diverting ships to other countries.
In fact, Azamara Club Cruises, which operates the Quest, and sister brand Royal Caribbean, have taken Egypt off their cruise itineraries through June. Ships have also canceled port calls in Bahrain due to violence at pro-democracy demonstrations in that country.
But Hamawy says the cancellations have only led to more demand from people wanting to go to the region.
The concept of travelers wanting to be part of current history, he adds, is nothing new.
"If you think about it, when the Berlin wall came down there were many people looking to get a piece of the rock so to speak and be part of it," Hamawy says.
Cruise.com has reserved 32 cabins on the Azamara Quest for the theme cruise program, a number the agency hopes to expand by putting together a top-flight speaker series.
Hamawy says he has received assurance from Azamara the cruise will take place as long as safety is not an issue in the region at the time.
"Note we are calling it 'Freedom Evolution' and not 'freedom revolution," Hamawy says.
The 10-day cruise is round-trip from Ain Sukhna on the Gulf of Suez, and will visit Sharm El Sheikh, on the Red Sea; and Safaga, the closet port to to the historic sites in Luxor; as well as Aqaba, Jordan and Eilat, Israel. Fares are from $2,094 per person.
The cruise does not visit Alexandria, which is closer to Cairo.
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