Hurricane Ida is not a hurricane that most people have heard of, but it is one of the most powerful storms in recent history. In less than a week, it has destroyed most of the French Quarter in New Orleans, and was only about 100 miles from the U.S. coast when it was named a Category 4 hurricane on Friday. It quickly became a Category 5 hurricane, and most cruise ships in the Gulf of Mexico have been canceled.
For the past few days a powerful hurricane has been churning its way across the Atlantic toward the Carolina coast. This week it became a tropical storm, and the National Hurricane Center referred to it as a Category 1 hurricane. In a few hours, the storm had strengthened to a Category 2 storm, and now it’s a Category 3 storm. However, it’s still a storm, and as of this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center has cancelled the cruise from New Orleans scheduled for this weekend, as well as those scheduled for next weekend.
Carnival Cruise Line has been forced to postpone a trip that was planned to leave New Orleans on Sunday due to Hurricane Ida’s devastation to the city. It would have been the city’s first ocean cruise in almost 18 months.
On Sunday, September 5, one week after the Category 4 hurricane hit the city, the 2,980-passenger Carnival Glory was scheduled to be the first ship to leave from the Crescent City. According to NOLA.com, electricity has been restored in certain neighborhoods, but the overwhelming bulk of the metro is still without power.
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According to The Points Guy, the Carnival Glory was scheduled to sail a seven-day cruise from New Orleans to the Bahamas, including stops in Bimini, Freeport, and Nassau. Carnival said in a statement that the decision to postpone Sunday’s sailing was taken after local authorities assessed the region after the storm.
Carnival said in a statement that “the channel to the cruise terminal remains blocked, and New Orleans is under emergency management.” “As more information becomes available, we will share it to our guests and travel adviser partners.”
As of right now, the cruise company has canceled sailings for the next week only, but the ship will still leave on September 19 on an identical route. Carnival spokesperson Vance Gulliksen told NOLA.com that the trip would be contingent on the state of the city’s recovery efforts at the time.
Guests impacted by the cancellation on Sunday may get a full refund or transfer their ticket to another cruise departing on Saturday from Galveston, Texas, according to the firm. “We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our visitors, and we will keep anyone impacted by the storm in our thoughts and prayers,” Carnival said.
Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on river cruise ships departing from New Orleans. Both American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) have had to relocate their future operations to Mississippi and Tennessee ports along the Mississippi River.
The 175-passenger American Melody, for example, set sail today from Natchez, Mississippi, on a 22-day Mississippi River cruise instead of New Orleans. The American Queen, operated by AQSC, has forced to change its schedule for a nine-day Mississippi River cruise that will now leave from Memphis rather than New Orleans on Monday. The 436-passenger paddlewheeler will now make stops at Vicksburg, Greenville, Natchez, and Terrene Landing in Mississippi, as well as Helena, Arkansas.