Earlier yesterday, a gay charter cruise operated by RSVP Vacations on board Holland America Line’s ms. Nieuw Amsterdam was denied docking in Casbalanca, Morocco.
Before arriving in Casbalcanca, the Nieuw Amsterdam received a message from the local port authority claiming that they would not be allowed to dock, even though they had previously acquired permission to do so. Local authorities cited that the visit of a gay cruise ship had turned into a public and controversial matter.
Now here’s the confusing part. Morocco’s Tourism Minister, Lahcen Haddad, is denying that the ship was denied docking even though local authorities made it very clear that the ship was not allowed to dock. Haddad later said in an interview, “we don’t ban cruise ships here and we never ask our visitors about their sexual preferences…” He also stated that future gay charters would be allowed to dock in any Moroccan port.
The Nieuw Amsterdam later docked in Malaga, Spain, continuing its
Recently, gay cruises have become a very controversial matter. Many times, cruise ships that are operating gay charters are turned away at the port due to protests from locals with the most recent “turn away” in Grand Cayman in 2010.
So what do you think? Does the port authority have the right to turn away a cruise ship based on the type of charter? Who do you believe is telling the truth, the port authority or Haddad? Let me know in the comment section below.
Header image: Holland America Line