Ahead of the storm, a number of cruise lines announced port cancellations and itinerary changes for ships on Canada and New England cruises and transatlantic sailings, as well as vessels based in northeast U.S. homeports. These are detailed below. (Note: Follow the link for a full update on Earl.)
Update: Celebrity Summit canceled calls on Saint John (Bay of Fundy) on Thursday and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Friday. Summit visited Halifax on Thursday and spent Friday and Saturday at sea. Celebrity Cruises told Cruise Critic today (Sunday) that due to high winds Summit was delayed getting into Cape Liberty, New Jersey, and boarding will not begin until 5 p.m. this evening. The delayed departure is not expected to have an impact on the scheduled itinerary.
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL confirmed that Norwegian Spirit remained docked at the Port of Boston on September 3 before departing for its Bermuda cruise.
Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, which left Bayonne on Thursday, arrived early in Portland to ride out the storm before leaving late on Saturday. A spokesperson told Cruise Critic: "We made arrangements to stay overnight in Portland, and will depart on Saturday evening once the storm has passed and we receive the go-ahead from the U.S. Coast Guard."
American Cruise Lines
The Boston Herald is reporting that American Cruise Lines' Independence arrived in Portland, Maine on Thursday night to avoid the hurricane. It was scheduled to depart at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Holland America changed the route for Eurodam, which left from Amsterdam on August 19 on an 18-night transatlantic cruise. HAL canceled Eurodam's replacement call in Halifax on September 3 (original call was for Sydney, Nova Scotia). The ship will stay at sea. On September 4 and 5 the ship will also be at sea so it can remain out of the projected path of Hurricane Earl. The cruise will finish as planned on Monday, September 6 in New York, where passengers will embark for the next cruise, a 10-night Canada and New England voyage, as scheduled.
Maasdam's seven-night Canada and New England cruise that left from Quebec on August 28 sailed a dramatically altered itinerary. On Tuesday, August 31, Maasdam departed from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island as scheduled, and the ship sailed directly to Boston, the debarkation port, where it arrived on Thursday night. As a result of the early arrival in Boston, port calls at Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as Bar Harbor, Maine were canceled. According to a statement from Holland America, "This put the ship safely alongside in Boston ahead of the storm's anticipated arrival." Passengers were allowed to stay onboard the ship until Saturday morning, the originally scheduled departure time. The statement from HAL adds that, "No changes are currently planned for Maasdam's September 4 cruise from Boston, a seven-night Canada and New England sailing.
Holland America has tweaked the itinerary for Veendam, which departed from New York on August 29 for a seven-night Bermuda Cruise. On Friday, Veendam departed Hamilton a few hours early; the ship is schedule to arrive in New York, as planned, on Sunday, September 5. Passengers embarking on the September 5 sailing will do so as scheduled.
Queen Mary 2, which arrived in New York as scheduled September 3 after a transatlantic, remained in New York until 5 a.m. on Saturday, September 4. As a consequence, its originally planned Saturday call in Newport has been canceled. QM2 will now proceed directly to Boston, where the ship will arrive on Sunday, September 5, as scheduled.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Pride skipped September 3's scheduled call in Freeport, Bahamas. The ship will now steam directly for its debarkation port of Baltimore, where it is scheduled to arrive at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
A Carnival spokesperson explains the change as follows: "Since we are expecting rough seas as we return to Baltimore, the ship must reduce its speed in the interest of guest safety and comfort. That said, to ensure a timely arrival in Baltimore the Pride is skipping the scheduled call at Freeport."
Carnival Miracle arrived in New York a day earlier than scheduled yesterday. The ship docked overnight in New York (a sea day has been nixed), and the eight-night cruise will conclude on schedule on Saturday, September 4.
Princess Cruises canceled Caribbean Princess' scheduled call Friday in Halifax to avoid the worst of Hurricane Earl. The ship called on New York on September 3, and, during the early morning of Saturday, September 4, repositioned to the cruise terminal in Brooklyn in time for disembarkation.
A Princess spokesperson told us earlier this week, "We expect embarkation for the next voyage to commence as planned and Caribbean Princess will sail from New York at 5 p.m. Saturday evening."
More Hurricane Earl Itinerary Changes: Caribbean Cruises
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor
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