A growing Hurricane Michael on Monday forced cruise ships carrying more than 12,000 passengers to alter course.
Cruise giant Carnival’s 2,980-passenger Carnival Glory skipped a call at Grand Cayman on Monday and remained at sea to avoid the storm. The ship departed Miami on Saturday on a seven-day voyage to the Western Caribbean.
Also shifting course on Monday was Carnival’s 2,754-passenger Carnival Freedom, which departed Galveston, Texas, on Saturday on a seven-day Caribbean voyage. The vessel skipped a call at Mahogany Bay, Honduras, and remained a sea. It’ll call at Cozumel, Mexico, on Tuesday and Belize on Wednesday.
A third Carnival ship, the 2,754-passenger Carnival Triumph, will sail an altered itinerary from New Orleans after it departs from that city late Monday. The vessel will reverse its scheduled calls, stopping Wednesday at Progreso, Mexico, and Thursday in Cozumel.
A fourth Carnival ship, Carnival Victory, also is sailing a reverse itinerary this week.
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The approaching storm also has forced Norwegian Cruise Line to alter the itinerary of one of its biggest ships, the 4,248-passenger Norwegian Getaway. The Miami-based vessel will call Tuesday at Falmouth, Jamaica, in lieu of Roatan, Honduras. On Wednesday, it’ll substitute a call at Grand Cayman for Costa Maya, Mexico.
As of Monday afternoon, Royal Caribbean had not altered any ship itineraries. In a late Sunday tweet, Royal Caribbean chief meteorologist James Van Fleet said Michael would affect “very few” of the company’s vessels.
The changes to the Carnival and Norwegian itineraries come as the U.S. Gulf Coast appears increasingly threatened by Michael. The National Hurricane Center on Monday said the storm is likely to strengthen rapidly over the next day or so as it barrels northward across the Gulf of Mexico toward the Florida Panhandle.
As of 8 p.m. EDT Monday, Michael was about 60 miles north-northwest of the western tip of Cuba and moving north at 12 mph. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
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