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Red Sea loss is Canaries’ gain 


The Canary Islands are already seeing dividends from cruise ship diversions due to the crisis in Egypt.

A number of companies have cancelled routes through the Red Sea and at least two have announced new itineraries to take in the Canaries instead. Tourism chiefs expect more to follow.

MSC Cruises said “safety was their number one priority” which was why they had chosen the Canaries this winter instead of Egypt as planned.

“The MSC fleet only ever sails to the safest destinations,” the company announced on its website.

The MSC Armonia cruises will depart from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria on various dates between November 2013 and March 2014. They will be for seven nights and take in San Sebastian on La Gomera, Funchal, Santa Cruz de La Palma and Santa Cruz on one schedule and Agadir, Casablanca, Puerto del Rosario and Arrecife on Lanzarote on the other.

There will be 20 cruises in all and with MSC Armonia taking 2,199 passengers, there will be an estimated 40,000 tourists discovering the Canaries. Tourism chiefs expect “a considerable economic contribution to the archipelago”.