Galveston to Remain Closed Until Harvey Passes

Surf rises at Bob Hall Pier Corpus Christi, Texas as Hurricane Harvey approaches.
Surf rises at Bob Hall Pier Corpus Christi, Texas as Hurricane Harvey approaches. // Photo by Courtney Sacco/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP, Newscred

The Port of Galveston is expected to remain closed until Hurricane Harvey passes and a port assessment has been completed.

A representative of Carnival Cruise Line tells Travel Agent that Carnival Valor and Carnival Freedom are currently keeping a safe distance from the storm as they head back to the port, while Carnival Breeze will remain docked overnight in Cozumel. The Carnival Breeze will then depart for Galveston tomorrow afternoon to be in a position to debark guests when the port reopens.

Our intention is to dock in Galveston as soon as port officials have reopened the port, Carnival said. The duration of your cruise will have to be shortened and the itinerary modified.  Cruise details will be finalized once we have confirmed our arrival into Galveston. Guests who sail will receive a pro-rated refund of their cruise fare for missed days and refund of any pre-purchased Carnival Adventures for canceled ports. Additionally, guests who pre-purchased any of our beverage packages will receive a pro-rated refund. Gratuities will also be adjusted to reflect the shortened duration.

Carnival guests can sign up for text alerts by texting the codes below to CRUISE (278473):

  • Carnival Freedom 08/26/17 - CCL1
  • Carnival Valor 08/26/17 - CCL2
  • Carnival Breeze 08/27/17 - CCL3

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbeans Liberty of the Seas is also keeping a safe distance behind the storm as the ship returns to Galveston, a cruise line representative tells Travel Agent.

The Port of New Orleans continues to report that it does not anticipate any impacts on port operations by the hurricane, and that it will continue to monitor the storm’s development in the coming days.

According to the latest forecast from Accuweather, Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall along the Texas coast as a Category 3 hurricane on Matagorda Island or San Jose Island either late Friday or early Saturday, making it the strongest storm to hit the state in nearly a decade. Wind gusts near the center of landfall could range from 80mph to 120 mph late Friday through early Saturday. The storm is likely to bring severe flooding, damaging winds, isolated tornadoes and lengthy power outages in an area ranging from Corpus Christi to Houston and Beaumont, Texas. The storm is also forecast to stall, which could bring flooding to southern and eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana into early next week. If the storm stalls close to the coast, it could also retain significant strength for a long time.

ABC 13 reports that there is a voluntary evacuation in place for residents living west of the seawall in Galveston. A state of emergency is in place for 30 Texas counties, as well as the entire state of Louisiana.

Flight Updates

American Airlines is allowing travelers impacted by the storm to change their flight with no fee. Customers traveling through Austin, Beaumont / Port Arthur, Brownsville, College Station, Corpus Christi, Houston (both HOU and IAH), McAllen / Mission and San Antonio in Texas, as well as Lake Charles in Louisiana, can rebook with no fee if they bought their ticket by August 23 and are scheduled to travel August 25 – 27, with rebooked travel to take place through August 30 between the same city pair in the same cabin class (or pay the difference).

United Airlines has issued a change fee waiver for new flights departing on or before September 1 through Austin, Brownsville, College Station, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Houston, Laredo, McAllen and San Antonio in Texas, as well as Lake Charles in Louisiana, in the originally ticketed cabin between the same city pair. The original travel date must have been August 25 – 29.

Delta has issued a change waiver for flights through Austin, both Houston airports and San Antonio booked August 25 – 26. The ticket must be reissued on or before August 29 with rebooked travel to take place no later than that same day.

Southwest Airlines has issued a change waiver for flights through Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, Harlingen and San Antonio for customers with flights booked August 24 through 28. Customers may rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the original city pair.

Finally, JetBlue is waiving change and cancellation fees and fare differences for customers traveling August 25 – 26 through Austin, Houston and New Orleans. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment. Original travel must have been booked on or before August 23.

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