First cruise ship docks in Tunisia since 2015 attack

2016-10-07 06:14


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

 La Goulette  - A celebratory band played on Thursday as a cruise liner docked in the port of Tunis for the first time since a March 2015 jihadist attack killed 21 tourists in the capital.

The German-operated MS Europa motored into La Goulette with 350 passengers on board for a one-day stopover.

The tourists, cameras at the ready, were greeted by a band of soldiers playing trumpets and drums, as well as camels and North African dancing, while the local tourist shops garlanded them with jasmine necklaces as they disembarked.

Tunisian authorities, who have ordered high security for the visit, are hoping to lure back the big cruise operators who have abandoned the country for the past year and a half since the gun attack on the capital's Bardo National Museum.

"The arrival of the liner Europa does not in itself signal the resumption of cruise liner activities in Tunisia," said Malek Ghanemi, head of La Goulette's cruise liner terminal.

"But it's very important because it sends out a positive and reassuring message," he told AFP.

Gabriella, a tourist from Berlin, was all smiles as she headed off for Tunis medina, or old city, a Unesco-listed World Heritage Site. "I'm not scared at all," she said.

Tourism Minister Selma Rekik Elloumi was to attend a special ceremony later on Thursday underlining the significance of the ship's stopover for a key sector of the Tunisian economy.

Many of the tourists who died in the March 18, 2015 attack claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group that also killed a policeman were on cruise stopovers.

Tunisia's tourism sector has been in crisis ever since the revolution of 2011 which led to the overthrow of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The industry used to contribute around 7% of GDP and supported 400 000 jobs.

Dozens of hotels were forced to close last winter following the Bardo attack and another in June 2015 around a beach hotel in Sousse that left 38 foreign holidaymakers dead.

Read more on:    isis  |  tunisia  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.