Hurricane Humberto Causes Cruise Ships to Alter Course

Five-day forecast for Hurricane Humberto.

PHOTO: Five-day forecast for Hurricane Humberto. (Photo courtesy of National Hurricane Center)Hurricane Humberto, which has developed over the weekend from a Tropical Storm into a full-blown, Category-1 hurricane, is making its way toward Bermuda, forcing cruise lines operating in the region to reroute their ships.

According to CruiseCritic, Humberto has thus far affected two Carnival Cruise Line itineraries that were scheduled to be sailing in Bermuda between Wednesday, September 18, and Friday, September 20.

Carnival Pride, which left Baltimore on September 15, is now spending two days at sea before sailing on to visit Grand Turk and the Dominican Republic’s Amber Cove, rather than Bermuda, as was originally intended.

Carnival Sunrise, departing today from New York City, will stop in Charleston, South Carolina, on September 18 before spending a previously-unscheduled day at sea. Sunrise will then spend a single day in Bermuda on Friday, September 20, by which time the storm is expected to have moved on, before cruising back to New York by September 22.

Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas is also scheduled to weigh anchor in Bermuda on September 21, after Humberto is forecast to have already moved away from the island.

While no warnings are currently in effect, the National Hurricane Center anticipates the need to a Tropical Storm Watch for Bermuda later this afternoon, as Humberto continues to gain strength and move east-northeast over the next two days or so.

With sustained wind speeds of 85 mph, the hurricane was this morning sitting about 710 miles outside of Bermuda but is expected to reach the north end of the island by Wednesday night. Humberto is expected to peak as a major hurricane within the next 36-48 hours, with forwarding speed intensifying through Thursday, September 19.

Other effects of the storm include large swells, which will affect portions of the northwestern Bahamas and the southeastern U.S. during the upcoming few days. People in those areas should be aware of dangerous surf conditions and potentially life-threatening rip currents.

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Carnival brands resume Bahamas calls

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Carnival Corp. said that its brands have resumed regular sailings to the Bahamas for the first time since Hurricane Dorian struck on Sept. 1.

The company’s private islands, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay, have resumed taking ship calls and Carnival’s three largest North American brands — Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line — together are projected to make over 250 sailings to the Bahamas through the end of 2019.

Carnival Cruise Line alone will make an estimated 204 calls through the remainder of the year, visiting Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays on eight of its ships.

Princess will return to with the Crown Princess’ arrival on October 9, and Holland America resumes Bahamas calls beginning Oct. 21, when the Zuiderdam arrives at Half Moon Cay.

Two Carnival ships — Carnival Liberty and Carnival Pride — have made stops this week in Freeport to deliver relief supplies to assist residents, including dozens of pallets of water, generators, chain saws, prepared meals and medical supplies. 

Carnival Corp. chief communications officer Roger Frizzell said, “It is important to spread the word that much of the country had no or little impact and is open for business.”

Grand Bahama Shipyard Welcomes First Commercial Vessel After Hurricane Dorian

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PHOTO: Grand Bahama Shipyard welcomes its first commercial vessel, the Agathonissos. (photo via Carnival Corporation)
Following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, officials from the Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS) announced Thursday the facility has resumed operations and welcomed back its first commercial vessel.

The Grand Bahama Shipyard is located in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and will once again host cruise ships when Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy arrives on October 5. The facility will also support recovery efforts through the ongoing work of its more than 600 employees.

The Freeport shipyard also expects to service 29 dry-dockings throughout the remainder of the year and generate additional economic activity for the surrounding area of Grand Bahama.

“It was extremely important to get up and running as quickly as possible and begin taking in vessels to help support the employees and families at the shipyard, along with economic contributions and rebounding activity for the island,” Grand Bahama Shipyard CEO David Skentelbery said in a statement.

“This is a significant sign of positive progress for the island, and we look forward to continuing our normal operations while also supporting the Bahamian recovery with direct support, including to island utilities, along with increased economic activity from our operations, and also from the industry’s collective efforts to support The Bahamas with immediate and long-term relief,” Skentelbery continued.

The Grand Bahama Shipyard suffered no significant damage from the hurricane, with the only issues coming from erosion. The facility can power its core operations and communications infrastructure, as well as provide fresh water and meals in its cafeteria, which serves hundreds of workers daily.