Update: AIDA Cruises is discontinuing port stops in Ashod, Israel for the rest of July and August. The AIDAdiva will stop in the port of Santorini, Greece in Ashod’s place.
Original Article: Passengers on the German cruise line AIDA Cruises received quite a scare today when the AIDAdiva cruise ship was leaving the Israeli port of Ashod. Fragments from Hamas fired rockets landed on the deck of the ship after being destroyed by Israeli Defense Forces.
Ashod, Israel’s fifth largest city, is located 32 kilometers south of Tel Aviv and 53 kilometers west of Jerusalem and is the largest port in Israel.
Stewart Chiron, America’s most quoted cruise expert, told Cruise Fever that sources believe that Hamas fired the rockets at Israeli targets and that the cruise ship was not a target. Hamas has a reputation of firing rockets and mortars at Israeli cities over the past decade. The United States, Canada, and the European Union have classified Hamas as a terrorist organization.
The rockets were destroyed in the air by Israeli Defense Forces and rocket sharpnel landed on the deck of the ship. There was no damage to the ship and all 2,700 passengers and crew members were unharmed.
Sirens began to sound when the ship was leaving port warning Israeli cities of attacks by the radical Palestinian group Hamas. German News channels said that the passengers on the AIDAdiva were in a state of shock after the attack.
In wake of the attack, the cruise line has issued a travel alert for travel to Israel. There was no travel alert prior to today’s incident.
The cruise ship is currently scheduled to be in the port of Crete on Wednesday morning.
AIDA Cruises is operated by the Carnival Group and caters to German speaking passengers. The casual service onboard combined with a “club resort” feel cater to younger, more active vacationers.
Cruise Fever will continue to monitor the situation in Israel and will have any updates as more information becomes available.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia