Storms Cause Severe Delays to Cruise Ships

January 7, 2014

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(11:00 a.m. EST) -- A number of cruise ships have been severely delayed by the storms that continue to batter the U.K.

All three of Saga Cruises' fleet have been delayed by the weather -- Saga Ruby and Saga Pearl II have been stuck in Lisbon all weekend, while Saga Sapphire was delayed leaving Southampton.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Balmoral has been in the English Channel for two days and will be forced to skip two ports of call.

And P&O Cruises' Adonia came back a day early from a Mediterranean cruise, arriving yesterday instead of today to avoid the bad weather.

Both Saga Ruby -- which is on its last voyage with the line -- and Saga Pearl 2 were due in to Southampton today (Tuesday 7th). However, the ships have only just left Lisbon and are now due in on Thursday evening.
They will be forced to skip one port stop -- Porto -- and all passengers who have booked shore excursions will be refunded.

A spokesman for Saga said: "There have been about half a dozen passengers who had pressing matters in the U.K. who we have flown back (e.g. medical appointments or family issues), and one couple who lived in Spain decided that they would prefer to get off at Lisbon and we have taken then home."

The passengers have been entertained over the weekend by legendary crooner Des O' Connor who flew out and back to Lisbon over the weekend.

A spokeswoman for Fred. Olsen said: "We can now confirm that Balmoral has suffered delays due to bad weather. As a result, the ports of Cadiz and Mahon have been cancelled, and Balmoral will now call into Gibraltar arriving on 10th January, and Valletta on 13th January. This allows for Balmoral to get back on schedule, and continue with the remainder of the itinerary."

A spokeswoman for P&O said there will be no compensation offered as the early return was weather-related and not a significant change.

-- By Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor

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