Cruise ships stranded at sea as Hurricane Harvey paves path of destruction in Texas | Travel News | Travel


Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on Friday as a terrifying category 4 hurricane – one of the biggest to batter the US mainland in more than a decade.

The deadly storm ravaged the Gulf Coast with storm surges, flash flooding and devastating winds. 

Harvey has now been downgraded to a tropical storm but it continues to pave a path of severe damage. 

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has warned of “ongoing catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” from Texas to Louisiana, with effects also felt in Mississippi and Alabama.

Its latest update said: “Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continues in southeastern Texas and portions of southwestern Louisiana.”

Cruise ships have been caught up in the dangerous weather event, with Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines both affected. 

At the weekend an estimated 20,000 passengers became stranded at sea as the huge ships were forced to avoid their designated ports. 

The Port of Galveston, in Texas, has been closed for days due to the extreme weather. 

Carnival Freedom, Carnival Valor, Carnival Breeze and Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas have all been forced to change plans. 

All three Carnival ships instead stopped in at New Orleans to restock supplies and allow guests to disembark if they so wished. 

Carnival said in a statement: “Unfortunately, extreme flooding conditions caused by the storm continue to impact the Galveston and greater Houston areas. 

“Our ships will depart New Orleans Tuesday/Wednesday and expect to be in position to enter the Port of Galveston as soon as it re-opens, later in the week.”

The cruise operator is also issuing full refunds to guests who had booked cruises departing at the weekend, which have been cancelled. 

Royal Caribbean diverted Liberty of the Seas to Miami as it waits for conditions at Galveston to improve. 

A statement from the cruise line said: “We anticipate Liberty will be able to return to Galveston on Friday, conditions permitting. 

“We are doing all we can to help guests adjust their travel arrangements and appreciate their patience as we work through this.”

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