Celebrity Cruises is taking an important step towards protecting the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest by adjusting the sailing speed of the Celebrity Millennium to safeguard migrating whales. As a result, Celebrity Cruises has made several changes to an itinerary that departs in May 2023 from Los Angeles to Vancouver.
Celebrity Cruises has been working closely with the NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) to protect whales on their migration routes along the west coast. The cruise line has now joined an additional voluntary program that has the consequence of sailing slower.
Itinerary Changes for Celebrity Millennium
Celebrity Cruises is taking part in a voluntary initiative to adjust the sailing speed to safeguard whales during their migration. Celebrity Cruises has been following the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) best practices for years and is now taking an additional measure to keep the whales safe.
This means that the cruise line has been forced to change the itinerary of Celebrity Millennium on May 6, 2023, a repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada.
As part of the itinerary changes, the overnight call to San Francisco has been canceled, which reduces the time in the popular port from two days to one day. The time in port has been rescheduled from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Furthermore, the timing of Celebrity Millennium‘s arrival at Catalina Island has been changed from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM to 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The ship’s arrival time in Victoria, British Columbia, has also been changed from 11:15 AM to 12:30 PM.
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Celebrity Cruises explained the changes in a letter sent to guests booked onboard the Celebrity Millennium: “Annually, from February to May, whales travel northbound in their migration patterns along the Pacific Northwest Coastline.”
“For years, we have followed NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) best practices for protecting their journey, and now, as an additional measure to keep these majestic animals safe as they migrate, we have joined a voluntary program to adjust cruising speeds in this area, which will slightly modify your sailing’s itinerary.”
The Importance of Protecting Marine Life
The move by Celebrity Cruises to adjust the sailing speed of the Celebrity Millennium to protect migrating whales is an important step towards preventing ship strikes, which have been a leading cause of death for threatened and endangered whales off the California coast.
The issue has become increasingly concerning, with hundreds of endangered whales killed in the past few years due to collisions with fast-moving ships. Despite a recommended speed limit of 10 knots off the San Francisco coast during peak whale months, some shipping companies regularly exceed this limit, putting the lives of whales in danger.
Protecting marine life has been on several cruise lines’ agendas lately. MSC Cruises announced it would introduce a special training program for deck officers to protect wildlife.
Celebrity to Reimburse Shore Excursions
Guests who have purchased shore excursions through Celebrity in San Francisco on May 8, 2023, will receive a full refund. However, guests with independent arrangements may not be reimbursed for additional costs due to the canceled overnight call to San Francisco.
The Celebrity Millennium sailing from Los Angeles to Vancouver is part of the ship’s repositioning between its winter season, which was spent in the Caribbean, to its summer season in Alaska.
Before the cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Celebrity Millennium will sail a 15-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, sailing through the Panama Canal and visiting Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Panama Canal (Cruising Canal); Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
After arriving in Vancouver, the 90,940 gross tons Celebrity Millennium will embark on a series of cruises to Alaska from Vancouver to Seward and Seward to Vancouver. The itinerary will include visits to Seward, Alaska; Hubbard Glacier, Alaska; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Icy Strait Point, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; and Vancouver, Canada.