Thankfully, cruise ships in affected areas have been only mildly impacted, with most still slated to sail as scheduled. Here's what we know so far:
Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America, scheduled to call in Honolulu early this morning, spent some extra time at sea after the port closed for several hours in anticipation of an earthquake-related tsunami, which hit the area with waves as high as 5.5 feet in some places. A statement from NCL has verified that the port has reopened, and the ship arrived at about 8 p.m. EST (3 p.m. HST). The ship's next sailing, a seven-night Hawaii voyage, will depart between midnight and 2 a.m. EST (7 and 9 p.m. HST).
The only other ship scheduled to be in the area for the next week is Silversea's Silver Shadow, which was due there today and tomorrow. Silversea representatives have not responded to inquiries about the status of the ship.
Although the earthquake happened about 200 miles from Santiago, Chile's capital, damages to the city's transportation systems may cause some trouble for passengers scheduled to sail from the port of Valparaiso, which is located there. As reported by Fox News, Santiago's airport will remain closed for at least 24 hours after its passenger terminal sustained major damage. The city's subway system was also shut down, and bus service was halted when hundreds of buses were trapped in a terminal by a bridge that had collapsed.
Princess' Star Princess, which is supposed to call on Tuesday, is the only ship due in the area during the upcoming week. Princess officials have released a statement saying that no changes to the itinerary are expected at this time. Several other Princess ships are also currently in the Pacific Ocean rim area, but none have been adversely affected.
(The release did mention that Sapphire Princess would depart a bit late for its next sailing from Los Angeles, as the port was closed in anticipation of the tsunami. There has been no word yet on the extent of the ship's delay or whether the port has even reopened.)
Other ships due in the area the following week are Oceania's Insignia (March 7) and Silversea's Silver Spirit (March 8). There has been no word yet regarding possible itinerary changes.
Other Affected Areas
Other areas of concern included Australia/New Zealand, South America and Asia. Although warnings have been lifted in the first two regions, Japan still remains on alert, but no ships are calling there at this time.
We'll keep you posted as new information becomes available.
--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor