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Ships Switch Port Calls Amid Yugoslavia Crisis

April 11, 1999

The Yugoslavian crisis has forced cruise ships to change itineraries in the Adriatic Sea and on the Danube River, and has even caused some jittery travelers to cancel trips on the Rhine River or to Greece.

In the Adriatic, Cunard's Vistafjord and Sea Goddess I and II and Seabourn's Spirit and Legend are switching port calls from Dubrovnik and other Croatian sites to Italian ports across the sea. The change affects 21 cruises from April 26 to Sept. 6. Windstar's Wind Surf is making similar changes on 12 sailings May 29 to Oct. 23. Holland America is switching from Dubrovnik to Italian and Greek ports on three Maasdam cruises this month and next.

On the Danube, many cruises end in Budapest, Hungary, far north of Yugoslavia. But some continue through Yugoslavia, where NATO bombing has destroyed Danube bridges, and on to the Black Sea. New York-based EuroCruises has canceled the May 28, June 3 and July 6 Danube sailings of its Delphin Queen through Yugoslavia and is "scrambling to find somewhere else for these people to go," said vice president Maria Conte. Uniworld in Encino last week was evaluating whether to reroute its four Amsterdam-to-Black-Sea cruises, which begin May 30, vice president Patrick Clark said.

Some callers are scrubbing Rhine trips hundreds of miles from Yugoslavia, Conte said, adding, "Americans just don't know their geography." Other tourists are canceling trips to Greece despite assurances from the U.S. Embassy there that it is safe, the Associated Press reported.

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