Passengers on a Baltimore-based cruise ship are getting their vacations extended by three days thanks to Hurricane Florence.
In a Thursday afternoon tweet, Royal Caribbean chief meteorologist James Van Fleet said the line’s Grandeur of the Seas won’t return to Baltimore until late Sunday — more than three days behind schedule — as it steers clear of the storm.
The 2,446-passenger ship had been due back in the city early Thursday.
Grandeur has spent the last two days hiding out from the storm in Port Canaveral, Florida, more than 800 miles south of Baltimore.
The delayed return to Baltimore is just the latest change for passengers on Grandeur. The ship initially was scheduled to cruise to Bermuda this week but switched its destination to the Bahamas and Florida as Florence approached.
As a result of Grandeur’s delayed return to Baltimore, Royal Caribbean has delayed a subsequent sailing of the ship that had been scheduled to begin Thursday. The nine-day trip to Canada and New England won’t begin until Monday and has been shortened by four days. The vessel now only will make one stop, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Passengers can cancel the trip for a refund in the form of a credit for a future cruise.
Grandeur is just one of more than half a dozen cruise ships based along the East Coast that have been affected by Florence. Several Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line ships scheduled to sail to Bermuda this week from such cities as Boston and New York have had to reroute to Canada or the Bahamas.
In addition, the storm has forced the closure of the Port of Charleston, S.C., where Carnival’s 2,056-passenger Carnival Ecstasy is scheduled to disembark and embark passengers on Sunday. In a statement sent to USA TODAY, Carnival said it planned to go ahead with the operation but was monitoring the storm closely in coordination with the port.
“As of now, our plan is to operate the sailing on Sunday, assuming the post-storm assessments have been completed by the local authorities and the port has re-opened to inbound traffic,” Carnival said. “We strongly encourage our guests to focus on their safety and security.”
Carnival said passengers on Sunday’s departure of Carnival Ecstasy from Charleston should sign up for text alerts by texting CCL2 to 278473.
As of 8:00 AM ET Friday, Florence was centered about 10 miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina after making landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour.
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