As recently identified by the National Hurricane Center (NOAA), Hurricane Hilary is predicted to have significant consequences for cruises, particularly those departing from Los Angeles and heading towards Mexico’s Baja Peninsula.
The storm has been upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane on August 17, and is currently south of Puerto Vallarta. Hilary is expected to pass over Cabo San Lucas and Los Angeles.
Cruises scheduled between August 19-22 are expected to be directly impacted by heavy rains, strong winds, and potential rough seas. At least four cruise ships could be impacted by the storm.
Cruises Directly in the Path of the Hilary
Hurricane Hilary could have severe impact on cruises sailing from Los Angeles to Baja California over the next days. The storm, currently located directly south of Puerto Vallarta, is heading directly for Cabo San Lucas on Friday, and Los Angeles over the weekend.
Carnival Radiance, which departs Los Angeles on August 18 and is expected to be docked in Ensenada, Mexico, on August 19, is among the cruises that might face the brunt of the storm. Its guests might experience the storm’s effects firsthand during their journey.
Similarly, Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas, departing from Los Angeles on August 18 and reaching Ensenada, Mexico, on August 20, could be equally impacted by the storm. Guests aboard must be prepared for delays or disruptions in their planned itinerary.
Carnival Panorama‘s cruise, set to sail from Los Angeles on August 19 with two sea days following departure, stands at considerable risk. The swells in its projected sailing area are anticipated to peak at a staggering 20-22 feet, which could pose significant challenges for the ship and discomfort for its guests.
Yet another ship scheduled to be sailing in the storm’s path is Emerald Princess. Beginning her repositioning cruise from Los Angeles to New York City on August 21, she is set to sail through areas predicted to be heavily affected by the storm. Stops at Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, and other ports might be disrupted by Hilary’s after-effects.
Read Also: IDEAL Hotels Near Long Beach Cruise Terminal
The two homeports in the LA area, Long Beach and Los Angeles, will likely be affected by severe rainfall on Monday, August 21, with forecasts now predicting up to two inches of rain. Carnival Radiance, Emerald Princess, and Navigator of the Seas are all expected to be back in port on that day.
Official Warnings and Advisories
After being upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane on August 17, there is a significant threat for cruise ships sailing in the area. Currently, winds are gusting up to 65 mph, expected to increase to 90 mph gusts on Friday.
The National Hurricane Center has been proactive in issuing warnings. In a recent statement, they stressed that:
“Hilary has the potential to bring significant impacts to the Baja California Peninsula and portions of the southwestern United States this weekend and early next week, including after it becomes post-tropical.“
Moreover, the National Hurricane Center pointed out potential areas of flash flooding and possible landslides over parts of the Baja California peninsula. Whether winds will be increasing over the coming hours and days remains unclear:
“Although it is too soon to determine the location and magnitude of wind impacts, interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Hilary and updates to the forecast.”
The Hurricane Center emphasized the imminent threat which could affect those cruising in the area and planning to participate in shore excursions in the region: “Heavy rainfall associated with Hilary may produce areas of flash flooding from late Friday into late Sunday.”
Safety Onboard and Ashore
For those along the coast, there’s another aspect to be cautious about. Large swells from the storm will be moving northward along the coast of southwestern Mexico and the Baja California Peninsula in the upcoming days.
Such swells could pose navigational challenges for cruise ships, especially in narrow or shallow waterways while docking.
Cruise lines are known for being extremely proactive regarding safety onboard and commitment to guest well-being during potential bad weather events.
However, those planning to board the above cruises should remain informed and prepared. Taking steps to prevent seasickness can help cruisers enjoy their cruise.
Adjustments to itineraries, potential delays, or other changes might be on the horizon. Guests must stay updated through official cruise line channels. As always, Cruise Hive will be keeping an eye out should there be developments in the region. Safe travels to all those at sea.