How the Cruise Industry Handles Hurricane Season

Terry Thorton has been following Hurricane Dorian since before it was a gust of wind out in the Caribbean. As the vice president of nautical and port operations for Carnival Cruise Line, Thorton and his team in Miami, Fla., prepare for Dorian like they do every hurricane season, ensuring that the Carnival fleet is out of harm’s way.

Aiming for the eastern coast of Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has already declared a state of emergency, Dorian is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained wind speeds up to 130-156 mph. By then, Carnival and other cruise lines will have already seen it coming, dispersing their fleet and changing itineraries to avoid the storm.

While the Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30, the peak for storms and hurricanes occurs between August and October. Even during hurricane season, storms will disrupt the itineraries of less than 10% of Carnival’s 1,700 cruises

According to Thorton, the general rule for captains is to stay about 200-250 nautical miles away from a storm. Cruise ships travel 22 knots per hour, which is about twice the speed of the average hurricane, making avoiding tropical systems possible….[ Read More ]



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