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Hurricanes Earl and Kay disrupt cruises to Bermuda, Mexican Riviera

September 8 2022
4 min read
Satellite image of Hurricane Dorian
Hurricanes Earl and Kay disrupt cruises to Bermuda, Mexican Riviera
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A growing Hurricane Earl is forcing some significant changes to Bermuda cruises this week as it barrels toward the island, even as another hurricane in the Pacific threatens to disrupt sailings along the Mexican Riviera.

Among the most notable changes, cruise giant Carnival Cruise Line's 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic departed Bermuda late Wednesday — a day ahead of schedule — to get out of Earl's way. The storm is expected to pass close to Bermuda late Thursday or early Friday.

Carnival Magic was on a six-day cruise to Bermuda out of New York that was supposed to include two days at the destination. But it's now steaming eastward toward calmer waters and will spend the day at sea. The early departure meant that passengers only got about half the time in Bermuda that they were expecting.

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Also leaving Bermuda ahead of schedule on Wednesday was Royal Caribbean's 3,344-passenger Mariner of the Seas. The vessel cut a three-day stay at the island destination short by a day and now is heading to Nassau in the Bahamas.

In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled a two-day Bermuda visit scheduled to begin Friday for its 3,963-passenger Norwegian Getaway. The ship, which is on a nine-night sailing out of New York, instead is visiting Nassau and Miami.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Hurricane Kay — which the National Hurricane Center is calling a "large and dangerous" storm — is starting to affect cruise ships sailing along the Mexican Riviera as it heads northward past Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan. The two ports are significant cruise destinations.

Related: Everything to know about cruising during hurricane season

Carnival has already made major changes this week to the Mexican Riviera itinerary of its Long Beach, California-based Carnival Panorama. The 4,008-passenger vessel visited Cabo San Luas and Mazatlan ahead of schedule after departing Long Beach on Saturday, and it skipped a visit to Puerto Vallarta entirely. Instead of visiting Puerto Vallarta, Carnival Panorama now is returning northward to stay out of the storm's way and will make an unscheduled call at Ensenada on Friday.

Other ships scheduled to be sailing in the path of Hurricane Kay in the coming days include Royal Caribbean's 3,807-passenger Navigator of the Seas. The ship left Los Angeles on Wednesday on a five-night cruise to the Mexican Riviera and was scheduled to visit Cabo San Lucas on Friday. But, as of now, it appears to be headed for Ensenada instead, according to ship tracking sites.

Royal Caribbean did not respond to a question from TPG about whether Navigator of the Seas' itinerary will be disrupted.

Wherever Navigator of the Seas goes, it is likely to encounter rough water.

"Kay is a very large tropical cyclone. It is producing an extensive area of high seas, with swells affecting portions of southwestern Mexico, the Gulf of California, and the Baja California peninsula," the National Hurricane Center said Thursday in its latest update on the storm.

As of 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, Kay was about 115 miles northwest of Cabo San Lucas and moving north-northwest at about 15 miles per hour. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

The NHC expects Kay to travel up the coast of the Mexican Riviera over the next two days.

"Although Kay is likely to weaken before it makes landfall or moves very close to the west-central coast of the Baja peninsula, it is forecast to remain a large and dangerous hurricane through that time," the agency said Thursday.

As of 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, Earl was about 230 miles south of Bermuda and moving north-northeast at about 13 miles per hour. The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour.

The storm is expected to strengthen over the next 36 hours and pass southeast of Bermuda by early Friday. While the storm's center is likely to pass about 75 to 100 miles away from Bermuda, the NHC says the island could experience hurricane-force winds if its track shifts west.

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Featured photo by Getty Images
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