Arthur Affects Cruise Itinerariesby Paul Motter | Thursday, 03 Jul. 2014
The first 2014 Atlantic tropical storm arrives early and could be a hurricane next week
The first tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season has gained a fair amount of momentum as moves north along the east coast towards the Carolinas. It currently has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and is moving north at 9 mph.
There is a tropical storm warning for the coast of South Carolina and a hurricane warning for the coast of North Carolina.
Perhaps the biggest change announced so far is Carnival Splendor will sail to Kings Warf, Bermuda on it s 4-night cruise out of New York rather than going to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Royal Caribbean changed three ship itineraries, canceling stops at that line's private island, Coco Cay. The affected ships were Majesty of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, and Enchantment of the Seas. The alternative was either an extra day at sea or sailing directly to Nassau to to let the storm move further away.
Last night Norwegian Gem stayed overnight in Nassau, Bahamas, and also chose to cancel a stop that line's own private island in the Bahamas; Great Stirrup Cay.
No cruises have been completely canceled due to Hurricane Arthur. There have only been these small changes in itineraries.
The storm is currently off the coast of Georgia and is now officially a hurricane as the storm moves north past New England and into Canada. Tropical storms become hurricanes when the maximum sustained winds exceed 74 mph.
Most computer models do not predict the storm will landfall, the path rather shows it coming close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. However, hurricanes can change direction and intensity suddenly, so one never know.
The first week of July is relatively early for a hurricane to form, and the NOAA had predicted a lighter than usual year for Hurricanes in 2014.
More About Arthur
The first named storm of the 2014 season is arriving about a week earlier than average for the first storm of any given year. Tropical Storm Arthur continued to gain strength Wednesday along the central Florida coast. Chances are good it will become the season’s first Atlantic hurricane Thursday.
After briefly moving south on Monday, Arthur is now moving very slowly northward at about six MPH with tropical-force winds extending out from its center by about 80 miles. National Hurricane Center forecasters expect Arthur to surpass the upper Florida state line into South Carolina sometime on Wednesday.
A hurricane watch was issued for part of North Carolina's coast early Wednesday. A tropical storm watch remains in effect from Sebastian Inlet to Flagler Beach in Florida. This means it is possible that cruises from Charleston, NC and cruises heading southward from New York City and Baltimore could be affected with possible schedule changes or itinerary changes, although none have yet been announced.
A Hurricane Hunter plane surveyed Arthur on Tuesday afternoon and measured sustained winds of 50 mph with higher gusts. The crew reported being “bounced around pretty good by strong thunderstorms,” before taking refuge at a higher altitude. By Wednesday morning, wind speeds were reaching 60 mph.
Maximum winds were up to on Wednesday morning.
Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a slow hurricane season for 2014 with eight to 13 tropical storms last month. They say three to six could grow into hurricanes and two may become major storms packing winds over 111 mph. On average, 12 named storms form, with six turning into hurricanes and three strengthening to major storms.