Canary cruises on volcano alert

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We might be enjoying an Indian summer in the UK, but many people who wanted to guarantee a sunshine break in October will have booked cruises to the Canaries. They will be keeping their fingers crossed that warnings of a potential volcanic eruption will not disrupt their plans.
Reacting to an increased level of persistent seismic activity – described as an “earthquake swarm” – Spanish officials have issued a yellow alert for the island of El Hierro, to the west of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. More than 4,000 tremors have been recorded since July and landslides, at least, are expected to affect the town of La Frontera..
The British Foreign Office advises: “The local government authorities have raised the risk level of a volcanic eruption from green to yellow and taken preventative measures in case of a volcanic disruption, deploying extra resources from the military and emergency services to the island. Local authorities are also on stand-by to effect an evacuation should this become necessary.”
An imminent eruption is not expected, but the FO warns that “seismic activity of this nature is unpredictable and could result in earthquakes causing minor damage or disruption due to ash emissions.”
No cruise ships call at El Hierro, but there are several bound for neighbouring islands over the next few weeks, among them Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas, Silver Spirit, P&O’s Ventura, Queen Mary 2, Costa Deliziosa, MSC Melody, Holland America’s Ryndam and Fred Olsen’s Boudicca, Black Watch and Balmoral.
Although the volcano on El Hierro has been dormant since 1793, operators will be keeping a close watch in case visits to Tenerife and Gran Canaria are affected. Scientists believe a major eruption on the nearby island of La Palma could trigger a mega-tsunami which would wreak devastation throughout the Atlantic Ocean, and on America’s eastern seaboard.
A spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean said: ” We are currently monitoring the volcanic activity on El Hierro to ensure guests enjoy a safe and comfortable cruise. At this time, Independence of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas are still scheduled to make all of their ports of calls. The safety of our guests and crew is always our foremost concern.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:00+00:00 29 September 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|3 Comments

About the Author:

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


  1. Stewart James 29 September 2011 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    As the official British radio station for the Canary islands we will be keeping listeners up to date with the situation. Travelers with radios can tune in to our local news broadcasts on 89.2, 103.7 and 97.3 from several hundred kilometers off the Coast.

  2. Anonymous 30 September 2011 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Will this affect our holiday at christmas in lanzarorte??
    comment would be nice..

  3. John Honeywell 3 October 2011 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    I suggest you speak to your travel agent

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