Winter Storm Disrupts Cruise Plans on U.S. East Coast
The "bombogenesis" winter storm in the northeastern U.S. is affecting transportation for millions of people on shore, and it's also disrupting several cruise ship itineraries.
The New York-based Norwegian Breakaway has been delayed in returning to her home port until Friday afternoon, pushing back loading for her next departure. "Due to winter storm Grayson, Norwegian Breakaway will have a delayed arrival into New York on Friday, January 5. We will provide further updates on the updated embarkation time for Norwegian Breakaway’s January 5 cruise by 4 pm today. We sincerely apologize to our guests for any disruption to their schedule," Norwegian said in a statement.
Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 delayed her departure from New York by one day, leaving Thursday morning instead of Wednesday. She is still on schedule to arrive on time in England January 10.
Terminals in Baltimore, Norfolk and Newport News were blocked off from merchant shipping entirely when the Coast Guard closed the Chesapeake Bay entrance on Wednesday evening. Blizzard conditions and high winds rendered navigation hazardous, and the Coast Guard Captain of the Port closed Hampton Roads to traffic. “The impending blizzard will cause a variety of maritime hazards, including strong winds, zero visibility, topside icing and heavy seas,” warned Capt. Rick Wester, Sector Hampton Roads Captain of the Port. “Mariners should secure their vessels, stow any loose equipment, monitor updates and most importantly, stay off the water.” The closure will likely be lifted on Friday, allowing Baltimore's cruise traffic to resume unaffected.
In Charleston, South Carolina, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas reported minor effects: its staff were forced to cancel shore excursions due to inclement weather. The city received several inches of snow accumulation Thursday.
[Top image: New York from the Norwegian Breakaway, 2015 / instagram / Wendy Perrin]