Cyclone Pam causes cruise ship itinerary changes

By ,   March 17, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

Cunard Line and Princess Cruises have become the latest lines with itinerary changes due to Cyclone Pam.

Both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria now skip Akaroa port, and call in at Picton instead. Sun Princess was forced to skip a Bay of Islands stop, and stayed overnight in Auckland, New Zealand on March 15. Currently, the ship is on her way to Sydney, due to arrive as planned on March 19 (Thursday).

A number of ships had to change itineraries or skip port stops in result of the cyclone, which caused devastation in Vanuatu - tiny South Pacific island state. Both Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean have made donations to help the storm-ravaged island.

Since evacuation alerts had been activated, Holland America's ms Oosterdam skipped the capital of Vanuatu Port Vila on March 12. The ship continued sailing as scheduled, north to Luganville.

MSC Orchestra canceled her maiden call to Cairns, north Queensland, and headed to Brisbane.

Carnival Spirit had to spend an overnight in Melbourne during Australian Grand Prix weekend. Passengers were given an onboard credit of $150 in recognition of the changes.

Carnival Legend will now call at Lifou, Noumea, Isle of Pines and Santo, instead of stopping at its scheduled ports, Mystery Island and Vila. The Legend was loaded up with extra water bottles and a generator to bring to Santo and assist with recovery efforts.

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas had to be diverted to Hobart for a couple of days and returned to Sydney on March 16, while Rhapsody of the Seas sailed towards Champagne Bay. 

P&O Pacific Dawn did not call to Port Vila. On March 19 P&O Aurora will arrive in Pago Pago, after skipping her stop in Apia, the capital of Samoa.

Nathan, another cyclone, is anticipated to reach the region the following week, with severe-weather watch for New Zealand's North Island.