The Isle of Man’s cruise season ended early this year due to adverse weather conditions. A significant autumn storm, Babet, is battering the eastern coast of Scotland, with the effects being felt on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea between the UK and Ireland. It caused one Norwegian Cruise Line ship to call it a day as conditions were unsuitable for tender operations.
The storms surrounding the British Isles have not only impacted the Isle of Man but are causing disruptions for other cruise ships in the region, which primarlily operate cruises towards Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands at this time of year.
Early Departure from Douglas Bay for Norwegian Star
The Norwegian Star, which arrived in Douglas Bay, Isle of Man, early on October 19, had to depart earlier than planned. The cruise ship, with 2,279 passengers and 1,003 crew members onboard, was scheduled to stay until 7:00 PM.
However, the choppy waters caused by Storm Babet, which is causing significant issues on the east coast of Scotland, made it unsafe for tender boats to operate.
This departure marked an end to what was a record-breaking season for the Isle of Man in terms of cruise ship visits, with 59 cruise ships scheduled to make a call.
While smaller cruise ships typically visit the Isle of Man, Norwegian Star, at 91,740 gross tons, was the second biggest ship to visit the island this summer, just behind Holland America Line’s Nieuw Statendam, which made a call earlier this year.
A Cruise Isle of Man representative commented: “It is a sad way to end a record-breaking season, but many thanks to the Captain and crew of the Norwegian Star for sending a tender ashore to try and effect the call. Cair Vie to all onboard and see you again in the future.”
Norwegian Star has since departed towards her next port of call, Dublin, Ireland, and will sail to Cork, Ireland, and Portland in the UK before arriving in Southampton on October 23. Norwegian Star departed on her ten-night cruise around the British Isles on October 13.
Storm Babet is one of the first autumn storms this year, and already it is one of the worst of the year. Besides windspeeds of up to 70 MPH, the storm is expected to bring up 200-220mm of rain in some areas of eastern Scotland, a volume close to the highest ever 24-hour total.
Cruise Ships Navigate Stormy European Waters
The weather disturbances are not limited to the Isle of Man. Cruise ships around the British Isles are currently facing challenging conditions.
This includes Storm Babet affecting the Scottish east coast and another storm heading towards the Bay of Biscay. Going through the Bay of Biscay is unavoidable for cruises heading to Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands.
While several ships, including P&O’s Iona, Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 from Cunard, MSC Virtuosa, and Island Princess and Sky Princess from Princess Cruises, have reached calmer waters, others like ADIAluna, with an upcoming stop in Lisbon, Portugal on October 21, are en route to areas expected to be hit by the storm.
Guests onboard the German cruise ship can expect waves up to 8 meters, or 24 feet in height, with winds gusting up to 60 MPH, in what is one of the most notorious areas for ships worldwide.