Norwegian Cruise Line Adjusts Itineraries Due to Lahaina Devastation

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Norwegian Cruise Line has begun notifying guests booked on the next three cruises of Pride of America that their itineraries are being adjusted due to the impact of wildfires on the island of Maui.

While the greatest devastation to the island in near the port of Lahaina and Pride of America calls at a different port, the diversion is intended to help avoid stressing local resources for recovery efforts.

Pride of America Cruises Changed

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America sails year-round 7-night Hawaiian cruises roundtrip from Honolulu, but the next three cruises will have altered itineraries due to the wildfires that have devastated Maui. The cruise line has begun reaching out to booked guests and travel agents to notify them of the change.

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the wildfires currently impacting the town of Lahaina in Maui,” the letter begins. “To avoid stressing the local resources, we have replaced our call to Maui with an overnight call to Hilo, Hawaii.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Pride of America
Photo Credit: Lost Mountain Studio / Shutterstock

On a typical itinerary, Pride of America would call overnight in Kahului, on the northern coast of Maui, while Lahaina is located on the island’s west coast, approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) away by driving distance.

In addition to cancelling the call to Maui and providing an overnight to Hilo (on the Big Island) instead, adjusted Pride of America itineraries will also feature scenic cruising past the stunning Napali Coast of Kauai, plus an extra overnight visit to Nawiliwili on Kauai “to provide the best opportunity to explore the beauty and natural wonder of the Hawaiian Islands.”

The next three cruises of Pride of America are all impacted by these changes – the August 12, August 19, and August 26 departures. It is possible that additional cruises into September may also be adjusted, depending on recovery efforts and when tourists can again be welcomed to Maui without straining local resources.

Pride of America Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: A. Michael Brown / Shutterstock

Norwegian Cruise Line is not the only cruise line to adapt sailings to Maui because of the wildfires’ impact. Princess Cruises has cancelled a scheduled call on Maui for Emerald Princess on Monday, August 14, and will instead visit Kona on the Big Island.

The 80,439-gross ton Pride of America can host 2,186 guests per sailing (based on double occupancy), and is the only US-flagged cruise ship in operation.

Why Avoid Maui?

While emergency personnel on Maui are making all necessary efforts to combat the wildfires, provide shelter for those in need, and begin recovery efforts after the devastating wildfires, the unique geography of Hawaii as an island chain far from the US mainland does present special challenges for receiving additional supplies and supplemental personnel.

The island’s emergency resources are already stretched due to multiple wildfires in addition to the destruction near Lahaina. By diverting to a different island for an adjusted port of call, Norwegian Cruise Line is ensuring that local workers and personnel can focus on recovery efforts rather than tourism for the next few weeks.

Even the state’s acting governor, Sylvia Luke, has asked that tourists not visit Maui for the time being, to permit local resources to focus on emergency efforts. “This is not a safe place to be,” Luke said.

The situation is similar to cruise lines adjusting itineraries and cancelling ports of call after a particular port may be strongly damaged by a tropical storm or hurricane. It could be just a few weeks or may be several months before planned itineraries can resume, depending on the extent of the damage and what services are available for cruise ships and visiting passengers.

While the summer months are the slow season for Hawaii cruises, ship visits do pick up in September and October. Many vessels that spend the summer in Alaska offer Hawaii cruises as part of autumn repositioning.

Ships from Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Seabourn all have ship visits scheduled to either Lahaina or Kahului on Maui in the next two months.

Travelers booked on any Hawaii cruise for the next several months will want to stay in close contact with their cruise line for potential itinerary updates or port cancellations.

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