CAIRO: What would have been the first-ever all-gay cruise to arrive in Morocco was abruptly cancelled on Saturday after organizers blamed the Moroccan government for denying the ship access to the country.
Cruise liner Holland America Line and trip organizer RSVP Vacations was forced to tell the 2,100 holiday-goers aboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam ship that the July 1 visit to Casablanca had been cancelled.
“Our port agent in Casablanca has advised us that authorities in Morocco have — despite previous confirmations — now denied our scheduled visit,” the two companies said in a letter tweeted to news organizations by passengers of the ship.
“For all of us, this is a very disappointing development,” they added. “It was ultimately the decision by local authorities in Morocco that has necessitated us to adjust our plans.”
Despite the companies’ statements, the Moroccan government denied that they had said no to the ship arriving in the country.
Morocco’s Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad reported that no official decision had been made to prevent the ship from stopping in Morocco.