Oceania alters Med itinerary, pulling Libya stops

MIAMI -- Citing complications that make it difficult to guarantee its passengers entry into Libya, Oceania Cruises pulled Libya off a May 21 Mediterranean itinerary aboard the Insignia sailing from Barcelona, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal.

Oceania substituted Benghazi and Tripoli, Libya, with stops in Sorrento, Amalfi, Taormina and Rome, Italy. The rest of the itinerary remains the same, with stops in Malta, Tunisia and Morocco.

According to the U.S. State Dept. Web site, Libyan immigration officials will not allow entry to anyone whose passport has a stamp from Israel on it.

According to Oceania senior vice president, Jeff Drew, "We weren't satisfied [with the response by Libyan immigration officials] when we were talking about visas that it would be seamless. We didn't want to get there and not be able to let our people off the ship, so we decided to take the safe road."

Drew said he hoped Oceania would be able to resolve the problems "down the line" and offer Libya again.

To contact reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].


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