As a maritime personal injury attorney, I have numerous cases against cruise lines. Most of these cases involve my clients being hurt while onboard the ship. However, some cases involve injuries sustained on excursions or even through crimes while at the port. Below is a list of ports commonly listed on itineraries that are known to be dangerous.
- Lebanon – A recent travel warning states “the potential for death or injury in Lebanon exists in particular because of the frequency of terrorist bombing attacks throughout the country.” Kidnapping also remains a serious danger in this country.
- Venezuela – Last February, a Carnival passenger was shot and killed during a robbery attempt on Margarita Island. Among the major dangers associated with ports in Venezuela is the threat of human trafficking and the narcotics trade.
- The Philippines – Most normal cruise routes steer clear of the threats of kidnapping and violence toward visitors of the southern Sulu Sea. Manila, the most frequently visited port, is notorious for the production and trafficking of methamphetamine.
- Mexico – While Mexico’s popular eastern ports (such as Costa Maya, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Progreso) are generally considered safe, the western port of Mazatlan must be visited with caution. The State Department’s travel warning specifies that “We recommend that any travel in Mazatlan be limited to Zona Dorada and the historic town center.”
- El Salvador – In the past four years, 33 US citizens have been killed in this small Central American country. Most cruise lines already avoid the two cruise ports, La Union and Acajutia. However, Azamara Cruise Line does have a stop scheduled in Acajutia in 2016.
- Colombia – Major lines such as Carnival, Princess, Disney and Holland America include Cartagena and/or Santa Marta as a port of call. The main danger stemming from these ports is the narcotics trade.
- Israel – In July of this year, rocket shrapnel landed on the deck of a German cruise ship. While most of the ports are relatively safe, their proximity to conflict zones makes them potentially dangerous.
- Djibouti – Travel warnings for this small nation next to Somalia states that Westerners are specifically targeted for kidnapping and acts of terrorism.
- Ivory Coast (Cote D’ Ivoire) – The port of Abidjan sees a couple of smaller lines through its waters. The CIA lists narcotics and money laundering as the most notable criminal activity in the area. Additionally, the Ivory Coast closed its land borders with Guinea and Liberia due to the recent Ebola outbreak.
- Algeria – Several smaller cruise lines travel to the two cruise ports in this country. The Department of State travel warning for the area includes “a high threat of terrorism and kidnappings.”
It is vitally important to be aware of the hazards associated with traveling to dangerous ports. Cruising can be a fun and enjoyable experience for the knowledgeable traveler. However, incidents do happen both onboard and while at the port. If you have been injured due to the negligence of the cruise line, call today for a free consultation.