Cruise Ships in the Atlantic Race to Escape Hurricane Florence’s Path

September 11, 2018, 9:16 AM UTC

More than 15,000 vacationers have seen their travel plans affected by Hurricane Florence as cruise lines up and down the East Coast have been forced to change their itineraries.

At least three cruise ships en route to Bermuda have diverted to the Bahamas instead to avoid the storm. Another cancelled a stop in Puerto Rico and rescheduled one in the Dominican Republic. In one extreme example, a Boston-based Norwegian Cruise Lines ship scheduled to sail to Bermuda is instead in the middle of a tour of Canada and New England, with stops in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine.

Airlines are also preparing for storm-related disruptions as Florence approaches the eastern seaboard. Major airlines have all announced they will waive change fees for passengers flying in or out of affected airports, though their precise policies differ.

Of course travelers aren’t the only ones being put out by Florence. Evacuation orders are in effect in Virginia and South Carolina, including for the entire coast of the latter. Nearly 30 Navy vessels in the area of Hampton Roads, Va., were ordered out of Port on Monday. Hampton Roads is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s biggest naval base. The order was given by Adm. Christopher Grady, who said, “Our ships can better weather storms of this magnitude when they are underway.”