Post-Fabian Impacts Cruise Schedules

September 8, 2003
In the wake of Hurricane Fabian’s direct assault on Bermuda – the category three storm lashed winds in the 120 m.p.h. range – cruise lines are scrambling to revise next week’s itineraries. And it looks like it will get pretty busy along the New England/Canada route, the logical replacement.

  Celebrity Cruises, for instance, says that Zenith, which usually sails a Bermuda roundtrip out of New York City, will head – this week anyway – north. Ports of call include Halifax, St. John, Bar Harbor and Portland. Celebrity’s Horizon, which has just started Philadelphia roundtrips to Bermuda, will instead go to Portland, St. John, Bar Harbor and Boston. Royal Caribbean’s Nordic Empress, which sails from the “Big Apple,” will call at the ports of Halifax, Portland and Boston.

  Norwegian Cruise Line, the other big Bermuda player, has also rejiggered itineraries. While options for those sailing Norwegian Majesty out of Boston are pretty straightforward – the ship’s itinerary this week features stops at Sydney, Nova Scotia, St. John, New Brunswick, Halifax, Bar Harbor and Newport – the company was, long into the weekend, still undecided about Norwegian Sea’s itinerary. NCL was hoping that Norwegian Sea which is seasonally based in New York, would, depending on conditions in the Bahamas as a result of other storms, head south, with stops at two Bahamian islands and the cruise line’s private island.

    Ultimately, NCL opted to send Norwegian Sea to Canada/New England. The ship is slated to call at Halifax, St. John, New Brunswick, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport.

  Passengers who want to cancel their this-week Bermuda cruises will not receive refunds. According to a NCL reservations agent, “we don’t cover acts of God and we are not offering refunds.”  Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are maintaining the same line.

  In Bermuda, damage, according to news reports, is mostly cosmetic (aside from the causeway leading to the airport, which is impassible).  At this point it is too soon to tell whether cruises scheduled to depart for Bermuda next weekend will require altered itineraries. We’ll keep you posted.