One of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded is causing widespread disruption to the cruise industry. As Hurricane Irma passes through the Caribbean and towards Florida, cruise lines are being forced to cancel or adjust multiple cruises.
The category five hurricane, with winds of up to 185mph has brought heavy rain along with the risk of flooding to low lying areas as the storm surge hits. 14 people are believed to have lost their lives already.
No less than 24 cruise ports of call in the Caribbean have been devastated as Hurricane Irma passed over.
A total of 16 cruises have been cancelled, including cruises from Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
Multiple other cruises have also been adjusted to avoid Hurricane Irma, with Carnival Cruise Lines alone making changes to no less than 10 sailings.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is offering a one-time four-night cruise to nowhere, departing the Port of Palm Beach on 08 September, for those that wish to evacuate. Prices start from $50 per person, per night.
Royal Caribbean International is offering complimentary accommodation on board Enchantment of the Seas, to any of its employees from South Florida. The cruise line also secured water for employees who were not able to stock up, due to limited supply in stores across the area.
Meanwhile, Carnival Elation is being forced to leave the Grand Bahama Shipyard where it was undergoing a near-month-long refurbishment. The ship has now left the shipyard and is being towed to a safe area to avoid damage from Hurricane Irma.