Princess Cruises has notified guests onboard Caribbean Princess that the remainder of their 10-night itinerary must be drastically altered due to the path and strength of Hurricane Lee.
The ship will be skipping two ports of call, shifting the date of another visit, and arriving at its last port of call a day early for an extended visit.
Caribbean Princess is currently sailing a 10-night “Classic Canada & New England” itinerary, having departed Quebec City, Canada on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
The one-way trip was to have calls at several Canadian ports as well as Bar Harbor, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts, before arriving in New York City on Tuesday, September 19.
Because of the approach of Hurricane Lee, however, the ship’s itinerary must be dramatically adjusted. Guests onboard have been notified of the changes.
“As the safety of our guests and crew is always our highest priority and in order to stay well clear of the approaching storm, we will no longer call to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax, Nova Scotia; or Bar Harbor, Maine,” the letter to guests onboard explained.
To travel around the storm, the ship will now visit Sydney, Nova Scotia a day early on Wednesday, September 13, instead of Thursday as planned. The time in port will be extended by one hour, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead of the originally planned departure time of 4 p.m.
From Sydney, Caribbean Princess will head directly to Boston, Massachusetts – skipping the visits to Halifax and Bar Harbor. This will allow the ship to arrive at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 15, just about 12 hours ahead of the earliest arriving times of tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Lee.
Caribbean Princess will remain in port in Boston until 10 p.m. on Sunday, September 17, the original departure time from that destination. By then, Hurricane Lee will be well out of the area and the seas should have calmed sufficiently for more comfortable cruising.
While in Boston, guests will be able to explore the city once the ship has cleared immigration, “subject to port restrictions.” Those restrictions could include closures if weather conditions deteriorate dramatically.
After leaving Boston, Caribbean Princess should arrive in New York City on Tuesday, September 19, for debarkation as planned.
The 112,900-gross ton, Grand class vessel can welcome 3,142 guests onboard, and is also home to approximately 1,200 international crew members. Caribbean Princess is currently offering a variety of Canada and New England itineraries for the fall foliage season, before repositioning to Fort Lauderdale in late October.
These are already dramatic changes for the cruise ship, but more itinerary alterations may yet be necessary.
“While we may still experience some rough seas along the way, the altered route should enable us to avoid the worst of the weather while providing you with the most comfortable cruise experience possible. Please note that these arrangements are based on the weather forecasts at this time and are subject to change,” the letter explained.
Hurricane Lee, currently a Category 3 major hurricane but beginning to weaken, has maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (177 kilometers per hour).
The storm is moving north, projected to be in the New England area by late Friday or early Saturday, though strong winds may arrive even earlier.
Multiple cruises have already been impacted by the storm, including Bermuda itineraries, Canada and New England sailings, and cruises to Greenland.
This week is historically the peak of Atlantic hurricane season activity, with the most numerous and strongest storms. In addition to Hurricane Lee, Hurricane Margot is spinning in the middle of the Atlantic but posing no threat to land.
Another area of low pressure off the western coast of Africa is showing signs of organization, and is likely to become a tropical storm and then a hurricane within the next week, but it is too early to forecast any potential storm track or potential impacts.
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