Florence forces cruise line to divert ship from Bermuda to Maritimes
Published Friday, September 7, 2018 8:36PM ADT
Stormy weather is about to bring boatloads of accidental tourists into Maritime cruise ports, and some of them aren't too happy about it.
They were supposed to be going to Bermuda, but with a tropical storm down there, they're coming up here instead.
There are mixed feelings aboard the Norwegian Dawn right now.
The cruise ship left Boston on Friday and was supposed to head toward Bermuda, but due to safety concerns surrounding tropical storm Florence, it's heading here to the Maritimes instead.
Signs advising passengers of the change were posted in the Port of Boston today.
The ship will arrive in Halifax on Sunday, Sydney on Monday, Saint John on Wednesday, and will visit Bar Harbor, Maine on Thursday -- destinations far from Bermuda.
The cruise line says the safety of its passengers and crew is its top priority, but that's cold comfort for passengers seeking warmer climates.
"It would've been nice to go to a warmer climate, Bermuda instead of Canada, but I don't know what I can do about it, but I’m here,” said passenger John Palavanchi.
Phil Kosa said the Canadian border is only two hours from his house.
“I could be in Canada quicker than I could be in Boston, so no, I'm not happy with Norwegian right now,” he said.
Jerry Kubias was not impressed.
"What we want is some compensation for this,” he said. “We could go anywhere, send us to Timbuktu, but not back home.”
Some passengers think it’s better to be safe than sorry and are taking the change of plans in stride because they’re going to a place they’ve never visited.
"A bad day at ship is better than a good day at work,” said Carrie Miller.
The Port of Halifax says schedule changes like this aren't common, but they do happen once or twice a season.
Cruise ship schedules are put together one to two years in advance, but local port authorities say they are ready to work with cruise lines when plans go south, or in this case, north.
“As a port authority, we work with cruise lines, when these types of requests come in for additional berthing space due to weather,” said Lane Farguson, a spokesman for the Halifax Port Authority. “We certainly do what we can to accommodate them, and work with them, and also on-the-ground tourism providers, so we can provide guests with an experience we hope they will enjoy.”
This isn't the only ship Norwegian Cruise Line has had to divert from Bermuda due to Florence.
The Norwegian Escape -- which is set to leave New York City -- will now be going to Florida and the Bahamas – a very different destination than the Dawn's stops in the Maritimes.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Amanda Debison.