Cruise lines send ships to help evacuate St. Vincent as volcano threatens island

Apr 9, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival Cruise Line are sending empty ocean liners to the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent to assist with the evacuation of thousands of people as an eruption from La Soufriere volcano appears likely.

“An explosive phase of the eruption may begin with very little warning,” the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!

Carnivals’ Legend and Paradise vessels along with Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection (RC and Celebrity have the same parent company) are expected to dock at the island Friday to help transport some of the 16,000 people who live within the volcano’s red zone and have been forced to evacuate.

Related: The 8 classes of Carnival Cruise Line ships, explained

Islands that will be accepting evacuees include St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua.

The pandemic is complicating evacuation efforts because the cruise lines will require people boarding the ships to be vaccinated, as will the nearby islands where the evacuees will be taken. St. Vincent officials are talking with their counterparts on other islands so that ID cards would be accepted, as not every island resident has a passport.

The timing of the rescue operation worked well for the cruise lines, which have largely remained out of service since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Carnival announced earlier this week that it had pushed back its return to service by canceling all of its June sailings. Royal Caribbean announced on Thursday that it’s canceled all June cruises, with some exceptions in places such as the Bahamas and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Related: When will cruise ships resume sailing? A line-by-line guide

Seismologists who monitor the volcano alerted island authorities about a possible eruption after noting seismic activity around 3 a.m. Thursday, suggesting magma was rising closer to the surface. Currently, the volcanic alert level sits at orange, which means an increased likelihood of an eruption.

Scientists have been closely monitoring the volcano for seismic activity since December, when an effusive eruption occurred. During an effusive eruption, lava flows steadily out of a volcano, rather than spewing out as during an eruption.

La Soufriere last erupted in 1979. It is one of 19 active volcanos in the eastern Caribbean.

Featured photo by Vadim_Nefedov/Getty Images.

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.