Earthquake Update: Honolulu Port Closed, NCL Ship to Stay at Sea

February 27, 2010
Pride of America Update: (2/27, 2:20 p.m.) -- The port of Honolulu is expected to reopen at about 5 p.m. this evening. NCL officials say they anticipate that Pride of America's next sailing will depart today, as scheduled. In the meantime, the line is providing daytime accommodations at a local hotel for passengers, booked on the next sailing, who have already arrived in Honolulu.

(1:30 p.m. EST) -- Norwegian Cruise Line, the first to alter an itinerary due to effects of this morning's earthquake in Chile, has announced that Pride of America, originally slated to arrive in Honolulu this morning, will remain at sea until further notice.

An 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Chile this morning, about 200 miles south of Santiago. News outlets -- including CNN, Fox and ABC News -- report that at least 100 people were killed, and tsunamis are possible in the Asia, South America and Australia/New Zealand regions.

The Los Angeles Times says a tsunami advisory is in effect for California, and other areas along the West Coast are taking precautions. Hawaii is currently making plans to evacuate its residents, and as a result, the port of Honolulu has been closed, prompting NCL to continue sailing until the port reopens.

In the meantime, those scheduled to depart on Pride of America's next sailing, which was to leave today at 8 p.m., are asked to call NCL at 800-327-7030. Line spokeswoman AnneMarie Matthews said the next sailing has not yet been canceled. The line has also not yet made a decision regarding what, if anything, will be offered to current passengers who may need to make alternative travel arrangements and those who are booked on the ship's next seven-night Hawaii sailing.

Silversea's Silver Shadow is also due in Honolulu today and tomorrow. We have received no word yet regarding the current location of the ship or whether or not this port closure will affect its current or future sailings.

Cruise lines currently sailing in South America and Australia include Celebrity, Princess, Cunard, Oceania, Holland America and P&O Australia.

Of those lines, Cunard, Holland America, Oceania, Princess and Royal Caribbean have responded to our inquiries and are monitoring the situation to determine if itineraries will be altered. At this time, however, no changes have been made to any of their sailings.

We'll keep you updated.

--by Ashley Kosciolek, Copy Editor