TURKEY – With cruise ships starting to return to Istanbul after a four-year lull, Galataport Istanbul Cruise Port, now under construction, is expected to open in March 2020. The mega-port project, located in the historic heart of Istanbul, will be able to receive three ships at one time and will include hotels, restaurants, art centers and office space. An unusual feature will be hatches that rise from the ground to secure the area and provide underground space for customs, luggage and other operations. Cruise tourism in Turkey has suffered in recent years due to geopolitical challenges in the region. The port reports more than 50 bookings for the 2020-21 season from cruise companies like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Regent Seven Seas, Ponant and Silversea.
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