River cruises, land tours canceled as evacuation from Egypt begins

egypt evacuationWhile at least 2,400 U.S. citizens are seeking evacuation from Egypt today, only two charter planes arranged by the U.S. Department of State have taken left the scene , one landing in Cyprus and the other on the way to Athens, Greece. It looks like it is going to take some time to make those evacuation plans happen.

“People should be prepared for a very long wait,” Janice Jacobs, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for consular affairs told CNN.

With an estimated 52,000 Americans in Egypt, 2,400 have requested assistance evacuating. The US Department of State has issued a warning against traveling to Egypt and noted that those interested in evacuation People interested in evacuation via U.S. government-chartered transportation should contact the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo by sending an e-mail to EgyptEmergencyUSC@state.gov or by calling 1-202-501-4444.

Egypt land tours and Nile river cruises have been suspended with tour operators Abercrombie and Kent, Trafalgar tours, Uniworld, Avalon Waterways, Grand Circle Travel and Gate 1 Travel all canceling operations.

“It’s an absolute zoo, what a mess,” Justine Khanzadian, 23, a graduate student from the American University of Cairo told AOL Travel.

MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines, both scheduled to call at Alexandria, Egypt have modified their itineraries. The Norwegian Jade called at Istanbul Sunday. MSC Magnifica called at Limassol, Cyprus on Sunday and is calling at Haifa, Israel today. MSC Splendida will call at Izmir, Turkey.

Some of the popular tourist attractions in Alexandria, Egypt include Pompeii’s Pillar, The Tombs of Al-Anfushi, The Graeco-Roman Museum and The Museum of Fine Arts, known for its rich collection of sculptures, paintings and architectural works.

Flickr photo by Deanster 1983