Hurricane Florence is expected to turn into a major hurricane “soon.” Cruise lines and airlines are currently preparing for the impact.
According to the latest forecast, Hurricane Florence is now a category 2 hurricane with max sustained winds of 105 mph. The storm, that is approx 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, is due to strengthen rapidly, turning into a major hurricane as of Monday morning, September 10, and is expected to remain extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday, September 13.
The center of the storm is due to move over southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, approaching the US southeastern coast on Thursday. The National Hurricane Center is warning that it could cause "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions in Bermuda and portions of the eastern coast of the United States."
The storm forced a number of cruise companies to modify their itineraries:
- Carnival Cruise Line revised the itineraries for both Carnival Pride and Carnival Horizon. On Pride’s September 9 cruise from Baltimore, instead of calling at Bermuda September 12-14, the ship will visit Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay and Freeport. Carnival Horizon, now on an 8-day sailing from New York that departed Sept 5, cancelled Sunday’s call in San Juan, and moved Monday’s planned visit to Amber Cove to Tuesday. The ship returns to New York as planned on September 13.
- While not related to Florence, Carnival also modified Monday’s 8-day Caribbean cruise on Carnival Vista from Miami FL. To avoid Tropical Depression Nine, the vessel will sail a reversed itinerary, visiting St Maarten, St Kitts, San Juan, Amber Cove prior to returning to Miami FL Sept 16.
- Royal Caribbean modified Grandeur of the Seas’ Sept 8 cruise, replacing its planned visit to Bermuda with a visit to Nassau.
- Norwegian Cruise Line modified upcoming itineraries for both Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Dawn. On Escape’s Sept 9 itinerary from New York, the ship will visit Port Canaveral, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau to avoid the storm, instead of visiting Bermuda as planned. On Dawn’s Sept 7 itinerary from Boston, the ship will visit Halifax, Sydney, St John and Bar Harbor, instead of calling in Bermuda.
- Oceania Cruises modified Sirena's Sept 7 itinerary to bypass ship's call in Bermuda, which had been scheduled for Sept 12-13. Instead, the ship will visit Nassau on Sept 15, prior to returning to Miami FL the next day.