Hurricane Fiona Heads to Canada, Impacting Cruise Itineraries

As Hurricane Fiona heads for Canada, the cruise industry continues to be impacted by changed ship itineraries and port closures.

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The Canadian Hurricane Centre has warned of heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds expected to hit Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec when Hurricane Fiona arrives in the area as early as Friday night.

The storm, which disrupted several cruises in the Caribbean, has been growing ever more potent as of late, now affecting cruise ship schedules in the Northern Atlantic. Both Sydney and St. Johns announced several canceled cruise ship calls, while more are expected to be announced in the coming days. 

Canadian Ports Announce Cruise Cancelations

Hurricane Fiona is expected to hit the Canadian Atlantic coast this weekend with extreme winds and severe wind speeds. With wave heights in the area up to 33 feet (11 meters), and winds gusting up to 142 Mph, several Canadian ports have started announcing cancelations to scheduled cruise ship calls. 

The port of Sydney, Nova Scotia, has canceled all scheduled calls this weekend ahead of sustained expected wind speeds up to 100 Mph. This includes Silversea’s Silver Whisper on Saturday, and Oceania Insignia, Celebrity Summit and Regent Seven Seas Navigator on Sunday. 

Hurricane Fiona
Hurricane Fiona (Image Courtesy: Canadian Hurricane Centre)

On Monday, the call by Norwegian Pearl has already been canceled. Windstar Pride, Caribbean Princess, and Ambassador Cruise line’s Ambience‘s calls are still scheduled, with the weather dictating whether or not those calls will go ahead. 

In St. John, New Brunswick calls for the Caribbean Princess and Celebrity Summit on Saturday, September 24, have been canceled. Norwegian Getaway is scheduled to arrive in New Brunswick on Sunday. Although some improvement in weather conditions is expected on Sunday, these are unlikely to be developing in such a way where a call will be possible. 

The Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia, cruise operations will be suspended on Friday and Saturday. During that time, vessels will not be allowed to berth at Halifax Port Authority facilities. This means that the Silver Whisper and Celebrity Summit calls have been canceled. More cancelations are possible on Sunday and Monday.

Celebrity Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Carlos Yudica / Shutterstock.com

The cruise ship schedules are up in the air now as well. Cruise lines are forced to change their itineraries to ensure guests and crew are safe onboard, which means staying as far away from Hurricane Fiona as possible. 

For guests onboard Celebrity Summit, this means that, at a minimum, they will have an overnight in Portland, Maine, and the call to Quebec City has also been shortened. 

Hurricane Fiona

Hurricane Fiona has left a path of destruction in the affected areas over the last week. First, the storm battered the outer leeward islands, particularly Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands further north. Several cruise lines decided well in advance to cancel and redirect their ships to other areas in the Caribbean.

Fiona strengthened again as the storm passed into the Atlantic Ocean, approaching Bermuda as a Category 4 storm. As the hurricane comes to the Canadian Atlantic coast, cruise companies are again forced to rethink their plans.

Read Also: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise

The effects of Hurricane Fiona are expected to subside by the middle of next week. At this time, cruise operations will likely return to normal, with the hope being that the remainder of the New England and Canada cruise season will be able to continue without further issues. 

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