Cruise ships in the Pacific are on tsunami alert after the devastation caused in Japan by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake earlier today, and the Japanese coastguard are reported to be searching for a vessel carrying 80 people which was washed away by the massive wave.
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 left Tokyo yesterday (March 10) and is scheduled to berth in Nagasaki tomorrow, so is heading away from the worst-affected areas. A small group of passengers is ashore on an overland excursion to Osaka and a company spokesperson says they are all safe and accounted for.
The official @cunardline Twitter feed posted the following message: “QM2 is 450 miles South West of this morning`s earthquake. Weather is calm and it is unlikely that the route the ship is on will be affected. The Commodore
Sister ship Queen Elizabeth is in Hong Kong today, together with Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas.
Azamara Quest left Nagasaki this morning with 70 UK guests among those on board and is due to reach Osaka on March 13. Crystal Serenity is in Bali, Indonesia, and TTGLive’s Sophie Griffiths reports that about 40 UK passengers are on board, with another 15 due to join the ship when it reaches Singapore on Monday.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America was in Hawaii when the tsunami warning was issued. The ship left Nawiliwili, Kauai early, at approximately 1.00 a.m. local time and headed for the open ocean where it remained until the port re-opened.
Pride of America will return to Honolulu on Saturday, and the next cruise is expected to sail as scheduled. Norwegian Star is at sea today and will arrive in Los Angeles tomorrow.
Paul Gauguin, with one UK guest, and Royal Princess are both in Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, which was placed on high tsunami alert.
Ships in open water are unlikely to be affected by passing tsunamis which cause devastation only when they reach shallow water and the coast as their speed slows and height increases dramatically.