A Carnival Australia ship that left Brisbane (Queensland Australia) on Sunday, February 5th, for a 7-day Pacific voyage, turned back in an effort to avoid a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea.
Carnival Luminosa was scheduled to visit Lifou Island (New Caledonia) on Wednesday, February 8th, but instead headed back toward Australia.
In a letter to passengers delivered on Wednesday morning, Captain Carmelo Marino said that given the forecasted path of the storm, they would not be able to deliver their planned South Pacific itinerary and would instead enjoy a few days at sea as they headed back toward Brisbane.
In the meantime, their team was attempting to secure a visit to Moreton Island (QLD Australia) for Friday, February 10th (weather permitting).
Passengers were offered OBC/onboard credit of US$200 per cabin and half-price tickets for a future voyage.
A Carnival Australia spokesman said the safety of cruise passengers and crew members was the company’s priority.
Other voyages from Brisbane have also been forced to change their route/itinerary.
RCI-Royal Caribbean’s ship Quantum OTS, which left Brisbane on Tuesday, February 7th, is sailing to Tasmania instead of the South Pacific.
Ponant's ship Le Laperouse, which departed Auckland (New Zealand) last week and was due to reach Cairns by Friday, was sailing through the Coral Sea on Wednesday close to Tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, several hundred meters off Mackay's coast.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted Gabrielle, which was a category I early Wednesday afternoon and sitting ~730 kilometres northeast of Mackay, could reach category III by Thursday.
For more Carnival Luminosa incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.