All major cruise ports in Florida are on alert and at least two of them have already closed due to Hurricane Dorian.
Hurricane Dorian Forces Florida Cruise Ports to Close
Hurricane Dorian is slowly making its way towards the Florida east coast and in anticipation of this, major cruise ports are on alert with at least two already closed. As a result of limitations in ports and closures, cruise lines are scrambling to make sure vessels are kept away and passengers are not stranded. As of writing this, the Hurricane has been upgraded to a category 5, the strongest possible category.
Miami is the cruise capital of the world so when it closes it will impact the cruise industry in a big way with multiple itinerary changes. The port captain has already set port condition YANKEE which means that cruise ships are not able to use the port unless special authorization is given. This actually applies to all vessel greater than 500 gross tons.
The condition went into effect at 12:00 PM on August 31 due to sustained winds of at least 39 mph are possible within 24 hours. It is possible that Port Miami condition ZULU will be implemented 12 hours before the gale force winds hit. This condition enforces further restrictions and movement.
Related: How to Get from the Airport to Miami Cruise Port
Almost the major cruise lines operated from Miami including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises.
Port condition YANKEE has also been set for the popular Port Canaveral located near Cape Canaveral and Orlando. This means the port is expecting high gale force sustained winds of 39 MPH to 54 MPH in the next 24 hours. It also leads to condition ZULU which has further restriction and limitations for safety.
Cruise ships are no longer able to arrive or depart the port unless they have special permission to do so. The cruise lines are keeping ships away from the Hurricane to keep guests and crew safe. The condition went into effect on August 31 at 5:00 PM.
The cruise lines that operated from the port include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line.
Port Everglades which is located in Fort Lauderdale just a 32-minute drive north is also closed. The port is under the same region as Miami with port condition YANKEE now in place. This is also causing cruise ships to stay away and come up with altered itineraries.
The cruise lines which mainly operated from the port include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line
The cruise port in Jacksonville currently not closed and is in port condition X-Ray which is expected to change to condition YANKEE in the coming hours. At the moment inbound and outbound traffic can still operate including cruise ships but once the condition changes no vessels over 500 gross tons will be able to use the port unless they can get special permission.
The only cruise ship based out of Jaxport is the Carnival Ecstasy which operates 4-day and 5-day cruises to the Bahamas.
Port of West Palm Beach
The Port of West Palm Beach in Florida could be the most impacted Florida port from Hurricane Dorian as it turns right up towards the east coast. The port is in condition YANKEE right now which means its closed to all vessels over 500 gross tons including cruise ships. We’re expecting the port condition to be increased to ZULU shortly.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line operates from this port and the cruise line has already canceled cruises departing on September 1 and September 3.
Port of Tampa
With the Dorian track slowly shifting towards east after it turns up along the east Florida coast the situation in the Port of Tampa looks a lot better. The port will be majority missed but however it has been in condition X-Ray since 4:00 PM on Friday. This means the port remains open to traffic including cruise ships.
Carnival Cruise Line is a popular operated which has departured from Tampa along with Royal Caribbean and some from Norwegian Cruise Line.
Here are the posts with live updates of cruise ship itinerary changes from some of the major cruise lines:
- Carnival Cruise Ships Currently Being Impacted by Hurricane Dorian
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships Currently Impacted by Hurricane Dorian
- Norwegian Cruise Line Cancels Calls to Private Island Due to Hurricane Dorian
- MSC Cruises Issues Hurricane Dorian Update
Hurricane Dorian Latest
The hurricane has been upgraded to a category 5 by the National Hurricane Center (NOAA). It is no extremely powerful and has started impacting the Bahamas which includes the cruise ports at Freeport, Nassau, and the surrounding cruise line private islands.
Dorian currently has maximum sustained winds of 180 MPH and is located 205 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. It has slowed down to 7 MPH and moving west which means more time over the Bahamas. Dorian is a major threat to life and will unleash heavy rainfall, gale-force winds and ocean wells in the Bahamas. There is no doubt the Hurricane will cause widespread damage as the most powerful storm on earth this year so far.