Post Hurricane Update – Caribbean Port Status

Open vs Closed Caribbean Ports

2017 has not been kind to the Caribbean. Several cruise ports were severely damaged from Hurricane Irma and Maria. For some, their potential “re-opening” date is still unknown. Others Caribbean destinations were more fortunate and remain open to cruise visits.

Many itineraries have been changed and we’re doing our best to get these updated in our Ship Mate Cruise App. In the meantime, we wanted to provide some help understanding which ports were most impacted.

Below, we’ll explore each Caribbean Cruise Port and its current status following Hurricane Irma and Maria.

The map below shows the most recent status of each destination. For a full view, click through to open in another window. Click on each destination to see the status: open, including:

  • open
  • closed
  • severely damaged.

Those listed as “closed” or “severely damaged” include multiple images of the damages caused by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

Caribbean Cruise Port Closure Map

 

Below you’ll find a quick reference guide to show your Caribbean port and its status after Hurricane Irma.

Caribbean Port Status

 

OPEN CARIBBEAN CRUISE PORTS

Which Caribbean Ports are still open after the hurricanes?  Fortunately, most are. By our count, over 77% of Caribbean destinations are still open to cruise arrivals.

The following cruise ports remain open after Hurricane Irma. They sustained little damage relative to the other Caribbean ports and can currently host cruise ships. If your cruise port destination is included in the “closed” or “severely damaged” list, it’s likely that port will be replaced with one of the Caribbean destinations seen below.

Basseterre – St Kitts

St Kitts was indirectly hit, but managed to fare well versus other nearby ports. Situated in the Eastern Caribbean, Basseterre is very close to those hit hardest such as Barbuda, St Barts and St Maarten. St Kitts was back in business quickly after the hurricane, accepting Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas and Carnival Fascination on Sept 21st. Officials announced that the destination is officially “open for tourism.”

Belize City – Belize

Belize City and all other Belize cruise ports were unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far west of the main areas of impact. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted.

Bridgetown – Barbados

Bridgetown cruise port lucked out, as Irma passed to the north of the island. The destination was relatively unharmed by either hurricane.

Castaway Cay – Bahamas

All cruise port destinations in the Bahamas are open for business. The major damage occurred in the Southwest Caribbean, hundreds of miles from the Bahamian Islands. While Castaway Cay did have one rescheduled arrival on September 22nd, the private island is now accepting all regularly scheduled cruise port traffic.

Castries – St Lucia

Although St Lucia is located among those Caribbean Islands hit hardest, Castries remains open to cruise port traffic. St Lucia’s Prime Minister avidly expressed his concern for letting the world know that Castries is “open for tourism.”

Catalina Island, Dominican Republic

Catalina Island and the Dominican Republic are situated west of the most devastated areas. Enough so, that all Dominica cruise ports are open following both hurricanes.  It took a significant hit with Maria, but the heavy winds and rains didn’t take it out of the cruise industry’s rotation.

Charlestown – Nevis

While Charlestown, Nevis is situated among those destinations hardest hit, the port is fully operational. The local paper, the Nevis Premier, reported minimal damage from the hurricanes.

CocoCay – Bahamas

All cruise port destinations in the Bahamas are open for business. The major damage occurred in the Southwest Caribbean, hundreds of miles from the Bahamian Islands. While the entire island of CocoCay was temporarily evacuated for Hurricane Maria, the private island is now accepting all regularly scheduled cruise port traffic.

Costa Maya – Mexico

Costa Maya and all other Mexican cruise ports were unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far west of the main areas of impact. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted.

Cozumel – Mexico

Cozumel and all other Mexican cruise ports were unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far west of the main areas of impact. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted.

Falmouth – Jamaica

Falmouth and all other Jamaican cruise ports were relatively unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far enough west to avoid any significant damage. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted. And, Jamaica expects an increase in tourism as it welcomes guests unable to visit closed ports.

Fort de France – Martinique

Martinique is located in the southeastern area of the Caribbean, among the ports hit hardest. Neighboring Roseau was devastated, but Fort de France avoided the same fate. The island is still operational and accepting cruise visits.

Freeport – Bahamas

All cruise port destinations in the Bahamas are open for business. The major damage occurred in the Southwest Caribbean, hundreds of miles from the Bahamian Islands. Freeport may actually be a bit more crowded than originally scheduled, as it serves as a replacement for other destinations like Grand Turk.

Half Moon Cay – Bahamas

All cruise port destinations in the Bahamas are open for business. The major damage occurred in the Southwest Caribbean, hundreds of miles from the Bahamian Islands. While the entire island was temporarily evacuated for Hurricane Maria, the private island is now accepting all regularly scheduled cruise port traffic.

Harvest Cay – Belize

Harvest Cay and all other Belize cruise ports were unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far west of the main areas of impact. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted.

Havana – Cuba

Havana suffered damage from Hurricane Irma, but the port has re-opened. Cruise lines started arriving shortly after the storm, on September 19.  Itineraries including Cuba should have no problems (at least related to weather) going forward.

Key West – Florida

The Keys are situated northwest of the areas hit hardest, but were not unscathed. Hurricane Irma caused some damage and visitors by car aren’t able to access the port area. But, fortunately cruise traffic has resumed. Key West bounced back earlier than expected. While both Carnival and Royal Caribbean had cancelled cruise stops until mid-October, they’ve since rescinded. Those with itineraries including Key West can still look forward to that port.

La Romana – Dominican Republic

La Romana and the rest of the Dominican Republic are situated west of the most devastated areas. Enough so, that all Dominica cruise ports are open following both hurricanes.  It took a significant hit with Maria, but the heavy winds and rains didn’t take it out of the cruise industry’s rotation.

Labadee – Haiti

Like neighboring Dominican Republic, Haiti was not severely impacted by either Hurricane Irma nor Maria. All ports in Haiti are open and can actually expect increased traffic as a backup port for closed Charlotte Amalie and others.

Montego Bay – Jamaica

Montego Bay and all other Jamaican cruise ports were relatively unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far enough west to avoid any significant damage. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted. And, Jamaica expects an increase in tourism as it welcomes guests unable to visit closed ports.

Nassau – Bahamas

All cruise port destinations in the Bahamas are open for business. The major damage occurred in the Southwest Caribbean, hundreds of miles from the Bahamian Islands. The cruise port of Nassau and nearly all local hotels on the island remain open for business.

Ocho Rios – Jamaica

Ocho Rios and all other Jamaican cruise ports were relatively unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destinations are situated far enough west to avoid any significant damage. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted. And, Jamaica expects an increase in tourism as it welcomes guests unable to visit closed ports.

Oranjestad – Aruba

Aruba was not impacted by either Hurricane Maria nor Irma. The port remains open as planned and can expect increased traffic as a backup port for other closed destinations.

Princess Cays – Bahamas

All cruise port destinations in the Bahamas are open for business. The major damage occurred in the Southwest Caribbean, hundreds of miles from the Bahamian Islands. While the entire island of Princess Cays was temporarily evacuated for Hurricane Maria, the private island is now accepting all regularly scheduled cruise port traffic.

Punta Cana – Dominican Republic

Punta Cana and the rest of the Dominican Republic are situated west of the most devastated areas. Enough so, that all Dominica cruise ports are open following both hurricanes.  It took a significant hit with Maria, but the heavy winds and rains didn’t take it out of the cruise industry’s rotation.

Roatan – Honduras

Like ports in Mexico and Belize, Harvest Cay was unaffected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The destination is situated far west of the main areas of impact. Itineraries including these ports will not be impacted.

Samana – Dominican Republic

Samana and the rest of the Dominican Republic are situated west of the most devastated areas. Enough so, that all Dominica cruise ports are open following both hurricanes.  It took a significant hit with Maria, but the heavy winds and rains didn’t take it out of the cruise industry’s rotation.

San Juan – Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico and its capital of San Juan suffered significant damage. Hurricane Irma caused the first round, but it was Hurricane Maria responsible for the brunt of the issues it now faces. Maria was the first category 4 hurricane to directly hit Puerto Rico in 85 years.

Many cruise departures scheduled for San Juan were cancelled. According to the latest updates, the first departure since shutdown occurred Friday (Oct 6th) with the Adventure of the Seas leaving Puerto Rico.

According to Director of Corporate Communications for Royal Caribbean, Cynthia Martinez, “[San] Juan has told us that the port is open with no restrictions.” Regular sailings are resuming as of Saturday (Oct 7th) despite 90% of the island still suffering from loss of power.

This news is as of early October. Please consult your agent for the latest updates.

Santo Domingo – Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo and the rest of the Dominican Republic are situated west of the most devastated areas. Enough so, that all Dominica cruise ports are open following both hurricanes.  It took a significant hit with Maria, but the heavy winds and rains didn’t take it out of the cruise industry’s rotation.

St Georges – Grenada

St Georges sits in the far southern area of the Caribbean. Grenada was fortunate in that the hurricanes passed north and did not cause any detrimental impact to the port destination. Itineraries including this port will be “business as usual.”

St John – Antigua

Antigua lucked out when compared to neighboring Barbuda. While that port was severely damaged, St John is back to operational after it’s brush with Hurricane Irma. The Celebrity Equinox returned to port on Oct 3rd and future itineraries including Antigua should be fine.

Willemstead – Curacao

Curacao was not impacted by either Hurricane Maria nor Irma. The port remains open as planned and can expect increased traffic as a backup port for other closed destinations.

CLOSED CARIBBEAN CRUISE PORTS

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Grand Turk – Turks & Caicos

Grand Turk is currently closed to cruise ship traffic. Carnival Cruise itineraries will be most impacted, as that line frequents this port more than others. Hurricane Irma caused damage to the port, requiring ships to seek alternative destinations. It was hoped cruise traffic could continue soon after Irma, but then Hurricane Maria caused additional damage.

Itineraries originally scheduled to include Turks & Caicos can expect a replacement. Carnival has replaced this port with Amber Cove and Freeport Bahamas for some itineraries. It’s expected that this will continue for similar itineraries in the near future.

Road Bay – Anguilla

Anguilla suffered damage causing closed roads, restaurants, and hotels. Most of the beaches and landscape have been since cleared of debris.

There are currently no scheduled cruise stops in Road Bay, Anguilla until November 2017.

 

St Croix – US Virgin Islands

St Croix managed to avoid much damage with Hurricane Irma, but was not so fortunate with Hurricane Maria. Many hoped the destination could be used as a fallback option for damaged ports following Irma. Unfortunately, this didn’t come to fruition when hit hard by Maria.

The next scheduled arrival into St Croix is early November. It’s not certain yet whether that Celebrity ship will be able to stick to this original itinerary. For the time being, the port is closed.

CLOSED AND SEVERELY DAMAGED PORTS

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Charlotte Amalie – St Thomas

Charlotte Amalie is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean. It was also one of the hardest hit by Irma. The destination suffered severe damage and remains closed to all cruise traffic.

Royal Caribbean announced the cancellation of this port stop through late October. It’s replacing this destination with various options including Bonaire, St Kitts and Labadee Haiti.

Norwegian Cruise Line has stated that St Thomas has been removed from itineraries through November. Those have been replaced with varying destinations in the Western Caribbean.

Celebrity has also canceled this stop through November. It’s replacing St Thomas with St Kitts.

It’s unknown when the port will reopen. It will take at least weeks to repair and many say months to allow cruise traffic to return.

Gustavia – St Barts

Gustavia suffered significant damage from Hurricane Irma in early September. A massive recovery effort is underway and much improvements have already been accomplished.

The port isn’t frequented often during this time of year, so will have little impact on cruise itineraries. The next scheduled visit is from Crystal Serenity on Oct 30th. It’s not yet determined whether that will take place.

Low Bay Beach – Barbuda

Barbuda was one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. The destination has been described as a “wasteland” by some.

Its minister has been meeting with cruise line executives to coordinate a resurgence of the cruise port and a return to the cruise industry lineup. For now, the port is closed and making major strides to pick up the pieces.

Phillipsburg – St Maarten

Along with St Thomas, St Maarten is one of the most heavily trafficked cruise ports in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, it too suffered severed damage from

Royal Caribbean announced the cancellation of this port stop through late October. The cruise line is replacing this destination with various options including Bonaire, St Kitts and Labadee Haiti. St Maarten is one of the few ports capable of supporting Royal’s massive ships including the Oasis, Allure and Harmony of the Seas.

The Economic Affairs Minister of St Martin announced that she hoped and planned for cruise traffic to return on the first of November. Whether that occurs will remain to be seen. Keep in touch with your travel agent for the latest regarding your specific itinerary if it includes this port.

Roseau – Dominica

This destination was hit very hard by Hurricane Maria while still a category 5. The location suffered severe damage and still has not recovered electricity and clean water to residents and commercial establishments.

It’s likely this port will closed for months.

Tortola – British Virgin Islands

Tortola and the British Virgin Islands were severely impacted by Hurricane Irma. It wasn’t until just recently that residents were able to return following the hurricane in early September.

The port will not be operational for some time – likely months.

Norwegian Cruise Line has replaced Tortola with ports in the Western Caribbean throughout the remainder of 2017.


Amongst all of this destruction and sadness, one bright light has been the response by cruise lines. On their own free wills, cruise lines have despatched cruise ships to help the locations hit most severely.

Cruise Line’s Shine

Royal Caribbean sent their 3,100 person-capacity Adventure of the Seas ship on a humanitarian mission to San Juan, St Thomas and St Croix. The vessel is being used to transfer evacuees to Florida.

Other lines have responded similarly, using their fleet to deliver emergency supplies. From Carnival CEO, Arnold Donald: “”Be assured, we will continue to bring many resources to bear for those impacted (by Irma and Maria) by providing ongoing help and support in the coming months,”

Additionally, cruise lines like Royal, Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity and Oceania have donated millions towards the relief efforts of those in need.

Cruise Prices Way Down

We’ve noticed cruise prices down significantly from those seen pre-hurricanes. These drops are noticed primarily for Caribbean destinations, but can be seen industry-wide.

Check out those seen in our Caribbean Cruise Pricing Widget below.

 

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