Gulf Coast cruisers can breathe a sigh of relief: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is not yet impacting cruise ships sailing out of New Orleans and Mobile this week.
Carnival Triumph will turn around in New Orleans on May 1, while Carnival Fantasy successfully embarked passengers in Mobile on April 29 and won't return until May 3. A Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman told Cruise Critic that "captains navigating our ships sailing from Mobile and New Orleans may opt to deviate course slightly to sail around the affected area. However, we do not anticipate any changes to the scheduled itineraries and associated ports of call as a result."
A notice on the Port of New Orleans' Web site reports that the Southwest Pass, which is the main route for ships traveling between the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, should be open and free of oil through Friday evening. Some oil could reach this shipping channel by Saturday, but the port says the Coast Guard is indicating that ships will still be able to use this route without needing their hulls cleaned.
We'll keep you posted, should any future itineraries be impacted.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
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Gulf Oil Spill Not Affecting Cruise Ships -- Yet
April 30, 2010