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March 11, 2014 4:37 pm

Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels Tunisia Stops After Country Bars Israeli Tourists

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Norwegian Jade in Venice. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The Norwegian Cruise Line announced Tuesday that it is canceling all of its remaining port calls to Tunisia and ceasing all future port calls there in response to the Tunisian government’s refusal to allow a group of Israelis to disembark the Norwegian Jade ship in the Tunis-based port of La Goulette on Sunday.

About a dozen Israelis were denied entry and singled out among hundreds of tourists. “[Cruise staff] were very elusive,” said Ed Glina, a Canadian tourist on the ship who witnessed the incident and stayed on board in solidarity with the Israelis.

“They said they got an email from the immigration department in Tunisia stating Israelis were not allowed to get off the ship. They were not given any reason why Israelis were not allowed off the ship—they indicated that in previous months when they had been to Tunisia, Israelis were allowed to get off—and that they didn’t know why this was happening,” Glina said, the Canadian National Post newspaper reported.

In a press statement released Tuesday and provided to, the Norwegian Cruise Line expressed outrage over the incident.

“We want to send a strong message to Tunisia and ports around the world that we will not tolerate such random acts of discrimination against our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan,  Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO. “We are outraged by this act and the fact that we were not notified in advance of this practice. We apologize sincerely to our guests who were affected and want them to know that we have taken the appropriate action in response.”

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  • If they do this to the isreal ppl, whats next? So then while their doing this why dont we do the same here and put out all the bad Muslims and the ones that go to these mosque that are in question and the ones that has been in trouble plus any of them that to come in our country. We are suppose to support Isreal ppl their country, they are Gods chosen ppl and our country
    Depends on God, If we break ties with them we wont have his blessing and u think we have problems now.

  • Dick

    If I’m a closet Jew can I go ashore?

    • Rita Crespi

      Why would you spend one penny in a country that hates you. I think every cruise line or tourist plan should stop going to these countries that are attacking everyone, not just Israelis.
      Tourism is the main income for some of these places. I went to Morocco years ago and was spit on and cursed. We went back to the dock and since then, every trip I’ve made to Spain excluded Morocco. It’s a pig sty any way. I will not spend my money in ANY country that allows this kind of bigotry, racism or any hatred . There are plenty of places where we are welcomed’

  • vicki

    good job NCL! i am a travel agent and i applaud you greatly! without SOME values, where are we headed? i am THRILLED that tunisia, i am certain in need of tourist dollars, will suffer from this myopic stupidity…and let them!!! remember, world..israelis unfortunately are the canaries in the mine……what happens there will begin to happen everywhere.

  • savti

    judaism in not a race. It is a religion. Israelis may be Jews, Muslims Christian,Buddhist or Atheist. How is one to know? We don’t have to go as far as Tunisia to to experience bigotry against Jews. Try going from Israel proper to the area now controlled by Arabs on the West Bank (formerly Jordan never Palestine) and you will encounter huge signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English warning that Israelis are not permitted to proceed or enter. So much for the human rights of 7 million Israeli citizen of all nationalities and religions.

  • Jon

    Tunisia does not ban Israel’s from its soil unlike Algeria and Libya. It is so idiotic for a bunch of mean customs officers to not get the message that Israel’s are allowed into Tunisia

    • Nrob

      Ron. Clearly ur an anti-Semitic idiot. The article clearly states that Tunisia did not allow the Israelis to leave the ship. So its evidence that that Tunisia has banned Israelies from entering.

      • Moshe

        Nrob, did you even read what Ron wrote? Apparently you didn’t, because your comment is way off target. He applauded Norwegian for standing up for Israelis’ rights and criticized Tunisia. Maybe you meant to criticize JON, not RON?

  • Ron P

    I hope other cruise lines follow what NCL has done. There is no reason for the action of Tunisia !! Shame on you !!

  • Francois

    Tunisia not refusing to allow the Jews to come to their country, but the one who wish to come must have a different passport NOT a Israeli passport. That`s all.
    Tunisia want a Tourism stay 1 week and more ….not stop for 1$ tea lol Tunisia work only with Union Europe …and Arabs worlds china Russia Japan …etc

    • Jon

      Actually all Israel’s even with Israeli passports are not at all banned.

      • BSG

        Just read the article, then you know, instead guessing.

      • Nrob

        Jon read the article. They are banned!

    • Ezra

      oh. That’s all Tunisia wants? You are forgetting one thing. F**k Tunisia. No one cares what they want. An Israeli has an Israeli passport and will not come up with some other passport to make Tunisia happy. They can enjoy the loss of business their attitude just earned them.

    • Hervé

      Now why on earth would you falsely suggest that Israelis are not permitted in Tunisia? Could it be because you are an anti-Semite?

    • SLMorris

      “That’s all”??? So I guess it’s okay, huh? Just ordinary hatred, nothing really to talk about, right?

    • Danielle goldberg

      That’s actually not true . There are over 2 million ISRAELI ARABS, including Christians and Muslims who hold an Israeli passport as Israeli citizens. They are in fact allowed to travel to all Muslim states and use all Muslim airlines …
      The discrimination is purely against Jews. I have traveled with Muslim and Jewish Israelis ,where one has been refused entry and one has not .

  • Sylvia Cobersy

    I congratulate Norwegian Cruise Line for not giving in to Tunisian racism, I wish other companies and peoples would do the same.

    Thank you on behalf of Israel and Jews everywhere!

    • Francois

      Tunisia not refusing to allow the Jews to come to their country, but the one who wish to come must have a different passport NOT a Israeli passport. That`s all.

      • Raina

        That’s bad enough.

      • vicki

        and you think that’s sooooo easy to come by? what planet do you live on?

      • SLMorris

        “That’s all”??? So I guess it’s okay, huh? Just ordinary hatred, nothing really to talk about, right?

      • Marc Hiltbrunner

        Same thing!

      • Linda

        So how many Iraelis have other than Israeli passports?

  • Ivan Ichicock

    I reckon the next thing Tunisia will do is force the few Jews still living there to wear yellow arm bands that read “Jude” or “Yehudi”. Among his many other misstatements, “French” (read as “Muslim”) claims the Tunisians were “the first country to kick-out a dictator”; obviously, this ignorant moron has no sense of history – or no sense at all.

  • French

    Listen, there is something that is called THE LAW, and the the right of each country to choose who’s welcome and who’s not on its Land. Tunisia is not a ” No man’s Land” guys. It is One the most historical place in The Mediterreanean, it’s CArTHAGE. Its Men and Women gained the Respect of the whole world by being the first country to Kick-out a dictator. Now, I think we should close the debate, and I’ll tell you why : ISRAEL Citizen need VISAS to enter Tunisia. It’s REQUIRED, so if they don’t have those visas, they are illigal, and not welcome in Tunisia, like all others who do not not have Visa. Ok? If I am Tunisian, and I want to Go to USA, France or Israel, do I need a Touristic Visa? YES. And what happens if I do not have it? Those countries will kick me out of their borders. And noboday says nothing about it! It’s their right to do So! So well done Tunisia! Show the world that, we do have Dignity, and that not naybody can enter Tunisia….as if it was abandonned or a ” no man’s land” NO. No visa, No Tunisia ! Do you thing we gonna accept people just because they have dollars but no visas? Noooo,if you really want to see Tunisia, go to the ambassy and struggle to obtain your visa, it is what we want. Or, don’t come if you don’t wanna make the effort…

    • Not French

      Dear French,
      You are an idiot. It obviously was not a visa issue since it was ONLY Israelis that were not allowed to disembark. Do you really think the Israelis were the only ones without visas? You’re right, Tunisia can refuse entry to anyone they want, just as the cruise line can refuse to make it a port of call. It’s too bad Tunisia has taken this path. It is a beautiful country with much history. But it is also showing it’s dark side and the influence of its Islamic right wing. Who do they refuse entry to next: Americans, Canadians, French? NCL was exactly right to leave Tunis.

    • Susan

      I was on a cruise with an israeli and stopped in Tunisia. We were told he didnt need a visa and had no problem. But Israelis turned in their passports two days before arrival and given back. Israelis cannot get visas to Tunisia as other countries that need

    • Monte Wolfson

      You seemed to have missed the point. This has nothing to do with visas. Tunisia will let anybody else into their country, in this case, off of cruise boats, just not Israelis!

    • Rob

      It was an email sent to the ship prior to docking not a visa issue.
      Many countries do not request a visa for cruise ships when a person is only there for a day

    • Wendy

      French: When you are traveling on a cruise, there are different rules for leaving the ship on foreign lands.. In Russia for example, we could not leave the ship unless we were with a tour group. I would imagine that this is much the same. You turned in your passports and didn’t get them back until after you had returned. I am sure that is the cruise line knew in advance that this was going to happen, they never would have chosen to put this port on their itinerary. Good for you, Norwegian Cruise lines.

    • vicki

      maybe you should be denied entry from now on, into the US as well…you are a bigot. your so called ‘dignity’ is more important that human values? you also need to brush up on your english, please.

  • Bart A. Charta

    First, kudos to NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) for taking the high road and acting as it did, in effect boycotting Tunisia from being the beneficiary of any of its passengers’ dollars. “Boycott the boycotters” is one good response to the BDS movement as well as to those who buy into their nonsense – like some factions of the Presbyterian Church. Maybe the Tunisians are becoming Presbyterians?

    Second, the only connection between NCL and Norway is the name itself. Norway has absolutely no relationship to Norwegian Cruise Lines. (You can’t even find koltbord at an NCL smorgasbord.) I daresay that if it did, the Norwegians might have invited the Tunisian military on board to seize the Israeli passengers. I look forward with gleeful anticipation for the Arabs to crap up Oslo and other Norwegian cities, just as they have managed to do to so many other European urban landscapes. Jihad Festival on Ice, anyone?

    Third, NCL is actually owned by Carnival Cruises, whose owners, the Arison family, are Israeli (and, like many other Israelis, live in Miami).

    • Gabriela E. Litov

      I wonder if other cruise lines and tour groups will also refuse to do business in Tunisia, now that it’s clear they don’t allow Israelis. Imagine the media outcry and coverage if Tunisia banned another ethnic or racial group, such as Hispanics. NCL is to be congratulated for its stand.

    • Kevin

      NCL has never been owned by Carnival Cruises. The majority owner is Star Cruises. Star Cruises, a member of Genting Hong Kong, is the third largest[1] cruise line in the world behind companies such as Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Norwegian is a Private company with 12% publicly listed on NASDAQ,[2][3] and is majority owned by the Genting Group (43.4%) (based in Malaysia), Apollo Management (32.5%), and TPG Capital (10.8%).

      • Lisa

        Star Cruises sold its shares in NCL back in 2007. So it’s been a while since Star had an involvement with NCL. It’s now the owners of Oceania Cruises who holds the majority.


  • I have traveled on the Norwegian Cruise Line and have enjoyed every minute. Norway for Jews stinks – don’t go – but this company is to be complimented.

    More companies, groups, organizations should stand up for decency as this company has. Kudos to them!!!

  • cityca

    Excuse my cynicism but let’s see if the cruise line continue to boycott Tunisia, or if they simply refuse future bookings from Israelis.

    I hope I am proved wrong, but Norway does not have great form regarding Israel.

    • vicki

      this company is thanks god, NOT norwegian!! read what people who know, have written….

  • D Matthews

    Thank God that there are people in the world who do the right thing. We must not allow Muslims, and that is the problem in Tunisia, to discriminate against Israelis. Who will be next? We know their prejudices and they will not stop with Israelis.