Hurricane Tomas scatters cruise ships

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castries.jpgP&O’s Ventura is among the cruise ships which have been diverted away from the Caribbean island of St Lucia following the devastation caused by Hurricane Tomas. No ships will call at the island before Sunday at least, and what will greet them when they return is still not clear.
At least 14 peole are believed to have been killed when Tomas struck at the weekend, triggering landslides and bringing down bridges. The capital of Castries, where cruise ships dock, is believed to be cut off from the rest of the island.
My picture (above) shows Ventura in the port, together with Sea Princess, and Oceania’s Regatta.
Prime Minister Stephenson King says the worst-hit area was Soufriere, in the south of the island and home to the popular cruise excursion attraction of the world’s only drive-in volcano.
He said: “Everyone is locked in and no one can leave or get in by road or by phone, so there are persons who need help but cannot be reached. It’s not just a question of clearing these roads because there are sections of the network that have completely disappeared, so that we are just going to have to find another way in and out of the town.”
Tourism minister Alan Chastanet told local radio that Soufriere resembled “a war zone.”
Tomas caused more damage on the neighbouring island of St Vincent, and a clear-up operation is under way in Barbados, a major turnround port for Caribbean cruises.
the storm still poses a potential threat to eastern Jamaica and Haiti, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. A hurricane watch is in effect for Jamaica. Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba.
Ventura, with 3,000 passengers on board, diverted to Roseau, Dominica. Other ships which have had to change schedule and either remain at sea or visit alternative ports include Caribbean Princess, Carnival Miracle, Freedom of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Celebrity Millennium, and Silver Spirit.
Saga Travel operates the Bel Jou hotel in Castries. A spokesman said the company has chartered a private jet to bring home holidaymakers from the resort today, and will not be sending travellers to the island “until the situation has improved.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:17+00:00 4 November 2010|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

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John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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