Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled two cruises and altered two others due to the approach of Hurricane Irma.
The cruise line has cancelled Norwegian Sky’s September 8 sailing and Norwegian Escape’s September 9 sailing from Miami. Norwegian Sky was set to sail a three-day Bahamas cruise, while Norwegian Escape was scheduled for a seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise. In both cases Norwegian said it would provide a full refund to all guests, plus a 50 percent future cruise credit.
The cruise line has also modified Norwegian Escape’s September 2 itinerary and Norwegian Sky’s September 4 itinerary. Instead of calling in Costa Maya on Wednesday and Cozumel on Thursday, Norwegian Escape will sail for Miami Tuesday evening, arriving Thursday afternoon. Guests who are residents of South Florida, who drove to PortMiami or who have travel plans already confirmed may then disembark if they wish to do so. For those guests who did not drive to PortMiami and cannot secure a flight back home, Norwegian is strongly encouraging them to stay onboard the ship, which will set sail Thursday evening on a course away from the storm.
“While we are unable to confirm at this time when and where the ship will return to port, we welcome all guests to remain onboard to stay safe and secure,” the cruise line said.
All guests will receive a refund for the three missed days of their cruise, along with a 25 percent future cruise credit. Guests who need to make flight changes will be reimbursed for any change fees up to $300 per person.
Norwegian Sky’s September 4 four-day Cuba cruise will be amended to a three-day cruise. Instead of calling in Great Stirrup Cay on Thursday, the ship will sail for Miami following its departure from Havana Wednesday, arriving in the morning on Thursday. All guests will receive a refund for the missed day of their cruise, along with a 25 percent future cruise credit. Guests who need to make changes to any flights will be reimbursed for any change fees up to $300 per person.
“All other cruises are currently sailing as scheduled,” Norwegian said. “We continue to monitor the storm’s projected path and will provide any updates as quickly as they are available.”
The announcement follows a number of other itinerary adjustments by major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises.
A representative of Holland America Line tells Travel Agent that the Maasdam is not scheduled to arrive in Fort Lauderdale until September 13.
According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, the Category 5 hurricane now has sustained winds of 185 mph, making it tied for the second strongest Atlantic hurricane on record. The storm is set to bring flooding rain, damaging winds and rough surf to the northern Caribbean through midweek. After that, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the storm will curve northward and miss the East Coast. Landfall locations in Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas are all possible, or the storm could head into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. If the storm does make landfall in the United States, it would mark the first time the U.S. has sustained a direct hit from two Category 4 or above hurricanes in more than 100 years.