Published: Sun, August 27, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Hurricane Harvey leaves thousands of cruisers, crew out to sea

Hurricane Harvey leaves thousands of cruisers, crew out to sea

The Port of Galveston has closed to all vessel traffic and commercial activities due to Hurricane Harvey.

High winds and pouring rains from Harvey, now a tropical storm, have devastated cities along the southern coast of Texas, destroying homes and businesses, downing trees and signs and knocking out power across the area.

Four cruise ships that were set to dock in Galveston over the weekend are holding off until Hurricane Harvey passes, leaving almost 17,000 people stuck either on the ships or in another city they never planned on ending their trip in while they wait out the storm. It is expected to make landfall late Friday or early Saturday on the central Texas coast.

'We will continue to remain in close contact with port officials regarding their plans to re-open once the storm has passed, ' spokeswoman Christine de la Huerta said.

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Carnival Breeze has a capacity of 3,690 passengers, while Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor each have a capacity of 2,974 passengers, according to the company. Guests have the option to end their cruise there. The Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor were both set to depart on Saturday, August 26, with the Carnival Breeze slated to set sail on Sunday, August 27. Guests who sail on modified voyages will receive a pro-rated refund equal to the number of cruise days they missed.

Royal Caribbean' (NYSE: RCL)s Liberty of the Seas is also scheduled to arrive in Galveston on Sunday. In response to a guest inquiry, the line's Twitter feed said that they were "monitoring the storm closely, but there are no changes at this time". The ship plans to leave Cozumel on Friday night and start its journey back to Galveston.

Royal Caribbean cruise lines also released a statement saying their Texas based ship, "Liberty of the Seas is keeping a safe distance behind the storm as she making her way back to Galveston". However, given the severity and projected path of Hurricane Harvey, Carnival is strongly encouraging their guests to remain on board as they intend to return the ships to Galveston as soon as safely possible.

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