NCL is bailing on Tunisia because of discrimination against Israeli passengers and crew, who were not allowed to disembark on a recent port call.
Dumb move, Tunisia – It will cost you millions of dollars in lost port fees you could have used to build schools and improve roads, and the taxes from money NCL passengers will not be spending directly with Tunisian shop owners and restaurant owners.
That hurts all the citizens of Tunisia, not just the rabid, fanatical anti-Israeli politicians who seem to have taken over the government.
Smart move, NCL – Thanks for for upholding the rights of your passengers and crew, and refusing to let petty politics trump commerce and tourism.
This is the kind of good corporate citizenship that should be applauded, and another example of how individuals and corporations alike can use the power of the wallet to effect change.
Recently, here on ecoXplorer, we wrote about Jimmy John Liataud, founder of a fast food chain who hunts and kills big game for sport, and linked to a Chicago Tribune article on the growing movement of boycotting companies whose policies or actions we disagree with.
NCL, which used to be known as Norwegian Cruise Line, is a well-run company with a strong and positive corporate conscience, not to mention some great new ships – Breakaway, homeporting in New York City, and Getaway, homeporting in Miami. I’ve sailed on both, even taking an exercise class with members of the Radio City Rockettes who are aboard Breakaway sailings.
These ships feature onboard versions of Broadway shows and celebrity chef restaurants for the grownups, and Nickelodeon characters and daily supervised activities for kids and teens.
I visited Tunisia many years ago, before the current anti-West, anti-Israel government was in charge, and marveled at its friendly people, wonderful cuisine, and Roman ruins such as the amazing coliseum in Sfax, nearly as large as the world-famous one in Rome. Perhaps someday I’ll visit again.
In the meantime, this is the full press release from NCL:
“The government of Tunisia refused to allow Israeli nationals the right to disembark Norwegian Jade in the Port of La Goulette, Tunis on Sunday, March 9, 2014. In response to this discriminatory act, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it has cancelled all remaining calls to Tunisia and will not return.
“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.”
“Norwegian Cruise Line employs more than 90 different nationalities and welcomes people of all nationalities aboard its vessels. The Company does not condone or tolerate discrimination of any type and with these cancellations hopes to send a message to those who do that such acts are completely unacceptable.”