Norwegian Cruise Line has notified guests as they’ve embarked Norwegian Pearl that their itinerary must be changed due to the lingering impact of Hurricane Lee.
The ship will now overnight at its homeport, two ports of call have been cancelled, and two other port visits shifted to different days to avoid the storm’s worst effects.
Norwegian Pearl Itinerary Change
In a letter delivered to guests upon embarkation, Norwegian Cruise Line has notified passengers about substantial itinerary changes for Norwegian Pearl. The ship was to have been sailing a 7-night, one-way Canada & New England cruise from Boston to Quebec City.
Because of the continued influence of Hurricane Lee, however, the original itinerary is no longer feasible. While the ship will follow roughly the same route, ports and the days of visits must be changed to remain out of reach of the storm’s worst impact.
“To avoid Hurricane Lee’s expected inclement weather and path, we have made the decision to take an alternative route,” the letter explained.
Originally, the ship was scheduled to depart Boston, Massachusetts at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2023. The next four days were to be ports of call: Bar Harbor, Maine on Saturday; Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sunday; Sydney, Nova Scotia on Monday; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Tuesday. After a day at sea, the ship would call at Saguenay, Canada on Thursday before arriving in Quebec City on Friday, September 22.
Now, the 93,530-gross ton, Jewel class Norwegian Pearl will stay overnight in Boston, not leaving until very late on Saturday, September 16. The next day will be at sea, followed by calls to Halifax and Sydney on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Because the port days have shifted, the calls to Bar Harbor and Charlottetown are cancelled. The last two days of the cruise – a day at sea and the visit to Saguenay – remain unchanged, as does the arrival to Quebec City.
Though the days in Halifax and Sydney have changed, the times remain similar. Norwegian Pearl will arrive in Halifax 30 minutes earlier than previously scheduled (8:30 a.m. rather than 9 a.m.), but will still depart at 6 p.m.
The call in Sydney will still be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but guests need to note that the ship will no longer be docking in Sydney, but instead will be using tender boats from a harbor anchorage. This could raise concerns for guests with mobility challenges, and potentially impacted guests should reach out to Guest Services with any questions or concerns.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s accessible cruising information online does note that Sydney can be either a docked or tendered port.
“We understand that itinerary changes can be frustrating, so we offer our genuine apologies for any disappointment this may have caused,” the notification letter states.
As an apology for the disappointment and inconvenience, Norwegian Cruise Line is providing a $100 (USD) onboard credit per stateroom, with $50 credited for the first two guests on each onboard account.
All shore tours for the now-cancelled calls to Bar Harbor and Charlottetown will be automatically cancelled and refunded back to guests’ onboard accounts.
Excursions for the shifted visits to Halifax and Sydney will be adjusted for the new day and time if applicable, but if they cannot be adjusted, those excursions will also be cancelled and fully refunded.
All guests will also receive a 10% discount future cruise credit (FCC) that will be available from October 2, 2023 and may be used on any published sailing through December 31, 2024.
Hurricane Lee Continues
Hurricane Lee has been impacting multiple cruises from different cruise lines for more than a week, once the storm strengthened and its forecast track showed anticipated disruptions to itineraries in the Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda, New England, and Canada.
Now, the storm is a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (129 kilometers per hour), currently positioned 435 miles (700 km) southeast of New York and moving north at 20 mph (32 kph).
Read Also: How a Hurricane Could Affect Your Cruise
The storm’s very wide wind field, however, is causing extensive watches and warnings in all coastal areas in the projected path. Tropical storm warnings are currently in effect from Rhode Island to southern and central Nova Scotia, with tropical storm watches for the remainder of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and into eastern New Brunswick.
Hurricane Lee continues to weaken and is projected to make landfall as a tropical storm, likely in southern Nova Scotia or southern New Brunswick on Saturday afternoon.