Hurricane Harvey Leaves Logjam of Cargo, Cruise Ships at Galveston Port

Hurricane Harvey Leaves Logjam of Cargo, Cruise Ships at Galveston Port

Cruisers on three Carnival Cruise Line ships and one Royal Caribbean International vessel are likely to be stuck in the Gulf of Mexico most of the weekend as Hurricane Harvey barrels toward Texas.

About 20,000 cruise passengers are in limbo after Hurricane Harvey forced the Port of Galveston to shut down, the Houston Chronicle reported. About 15,000 people are on the four stranded cruise ships. According to a release from the line, "the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor are at sea and will remain a safe distance from the storm".

The other Carnival ship remained docked in Mexico on Friday, and the plan was to head to Galveston Saturday afternoon if conditions allow. Liberty of the Seas is now still on her original schedule of arriving in Galveston on Sunday. But the port closed earlier in the week in advance of the Category 3 storm's arrival and it's unclear when it will reopen.

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To avoid those situations, the ships - which are now positioned in the southern Caribbean and along the Mexican coast - could stay on the back side of the storm until it passes. It plans to leave for Galveston on Saturday to be in position to debark guests when the port reopens, the spokesperson said.

The company said passengers will be able to disembark at New Orleans, but warned against returning to Galveston for now. "Guests who sail on modified voyages will receive a prorated refund equal to the number of cruise days missed".

Right now, Carnival tells us their customers should sign up for text messages alerts to keep up with updates from the company.

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"We are actively monitoring path and progression of Hurricane Harvey and will make sure to inform our guests of any itinerary changes", Torres said. The Carnival Freedom and Valor ships, diverted to New Orleans to stock up on food and supplies, offered passengers the choice of making their own way to Galveston or re-boarding the ship, which will return to the Texas port city when officials have deemed maritime traffic safe.

Royal Caribbean officials did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

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