Cruise ship visits to Bulgaria drop after Turkey terrorist attacks

In spite of optimistic forecasts earlier in 2016 that cancellations of cruise ship visits to Turkey because of terrorist attacks in top tourism destinations such as Istanbul would mean a diversion to Bulgaria ports, it seems the attacks in Turkey have had the opposite effect.

In recent years, Bulgarian ports have benefitted from instability in other countries in the region, such as the re-routing of vessels to Bulgaria’s Black Sea harbours instead of going to Ukraine.

The eve of the first weekend of May saw cruise ship Costa NeoRomantica docked in Bulgaria’s Black Sea port of Bourgas, with about 1300 passengers in board. But by the end of the year, no more than eight cruise ships are expected at the port – that is, if none is cancelled.

Port Bourgas director Diyan Dimov told local media that this year, more than 400 visits to Istanbul had been cancelled as a response to terrorist attacks in Turkey’s largest city.

He said that after the terrorist attacks in Istanbul, the danger that no cruise ships would enter the Black Sea was “more than 100 per cent”.

“This is the first ship to pass absolutely all Turkish ports and not visit the port of Istanbul,” Dimov said. Until now, all cruise ships that visited Bourgas and the Black Sea had first visited the port of Istanbul before entering the Black Sea.

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