Cruise Lines Report No Changes After Quake

November 30, 2007
Earthquake Rocks Caribbean

There have been no reports of cruise cancellations or amended itineraries in the wake of a 7.4 -magnitude earthquake that shook several islands in the Caribbean late Thursday.

Representatives from Fred. Olsen, P&O, Ocean Village, Princess and Cunard cruise lines all confirmed Friday that none of their itineraries have been affected, despite reports of structural damage on both Martinique and Barbados. Several other major lines currently sailing the Southern and Eastern Caribbean -- among them Royal Caribbean, Holland America and MSC Cruises -- have not yet responded to requests for information regarding possible itinerary changes.

The powerful tremblor struck at 3 p.m. EST and was centered 14 miles northwest of Saint-Pierre, Martinique, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was felt as far away as Venezuela and Puerto Rico. At a depth of 89 miles below the ocean floor, the earthquake did not pose a risk of tsunami, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake damaged several buildings in Martinique, collapsing the roofs of a bank and a store, according to the Associated Press. French news agency AFP reported early Friday that one third of Martinique and thousands of homes in Guadeloupe were without electricity.

Despite the damage, the Martinique Promotion Bureau declared the island's tourism infrastructure "unscathed" in a release distributed Thursday. Airports remain open and there was no damage reported at the destination's major resorts.

There were no reports of injury or damage in neighboring Dominica as a result of the earthquake, according to an island spokesperson.

--by Michael Potter, Assistant Editor