The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire is commonly known as Ivory Coast with a population estimated to be +20.6 million. In October 1985, the government requested the country be known as Côte d’Ivoire. In 1843, a treaty made Côte d’Ivoire a “protectorate” of France and in 1893, a French colony as part of the European scramble for Africa. Côte d’Ivoire became independent in 1960 and until 1993, Félix Houphouët-Boigny led the country. It maintained close political and economic association with its West African neighbors, while maintaining close ties to the West, especially to France. However, since the end of Houphouët-Boigny’s rule, Côte d’Ivoire has experienced two coups d’état (1999 and 2001) and a civil war.
This unrest continues today. Known to most people who bother to read or research their destinations, but evidently not to Oceania, 28 Nov is election day in Côte d’Ivoire. Local officials in Abidjan informed the ship, on the 26th I suppose, that there are likely to be interruptions in services and/or political actions taking place in and around Abidjan. Duh!!
Therefore, for our safety we are bypassing the port. Instead, we get a thrilling ride around “pirate waters” killing time for the day. So those Israelis will earn their shekels.
No real surprise. This is the one port I booked a ship’s cruise as I had doubts we would dock here. Côte d’Ivoire has been preparing for these elections for quite some time and there are serious questions concerning the amount of corruption involved. This is not a democracy and it is not expected to change with this election. So no surprise but with disappointment I miss this port.