Some see it as a blessing, others as a curse.
With New York City in virtual shutdown and the Port of New York closed “until further notice,” several cruise ships remain at sea, waiting for the opportunity to dock and unload passengers.
Superstorm Sandy scattered dozens of cruise ships over the past week on its path up from the Caribbean, but at least four ships remain stuck at sea two days after the storm battered the U.S. mainland.
The New York-based Norwegian Gem will call on Boston Wednesday “to take on provisions, fuel and give guests the opportunity to go ashore.” The ship will depart Boston in the evening and remain off New York until it gets the go-ahead from the Port Authority to dock in the city.
“At this time, we anticipate that the Port will re-open on Thursday or Friday,” the cruise line said in a statement. “For guests who were scheduled to sail on Norwegian Gem’s Oct. 29 cruise, we are preparing an alternate itinerary for a five- or six-day Bermuda cruise. As a result of the shortened itinerary, guests will receive a pro-rated credit for the missed days based on cruise fare paid.”
Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess was also unable to return to New York and remained in Boston Wednesday. The cruise line said it would “offer compensation once we know more about the full impact to their overall voyage,” adding that it was looking into alternative ports and hoped to make it back to New York by Friday.
The Sphinx class AIDAluna cruise ship was also unable to return to New York, as was Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony. The 940-passenger luxury liner was en route to Charleston, S.C., Wednesday, where passengers will be able to disembark Thursday. The Crystal Symphony sailing scheduled to disembark from New York Wednesday will now leave from Charleston Friday.
Dozens more cruise ships have altered their courses, changing itineraries and adding more days at sea to ride out the storm. Several companies even canceled sailings -- a rare move for the industry -- and are now offering deals like Carnival’s last-minute “Cruise To Nowhere” on the Carnival Pride, whose originally scheduled trip on Oct. 28 was axed because of Sandy. Rates start at $129 per person for the two-night voyage, which departs from the Port of Baltimore Friday afternoon.