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As Hurricane Looms, Cruise Ships Asked to Leave Ports in Miami, Key West

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 3 days ago Rich Thomaselli
a large ship in a body of water: Norwegian Epic © Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Epic

Cruise ships in Florida’s PortMiami and the Port of Key West have been on move, but not for the reason you might think.

Still idled because of the no-sail order from the coronavirus pandemic, chips have been asked to vacate the two popular ports due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Isaias.

The Category 1 storm was expected to make landfall in Florida later today and into Sunday, prompting a ‘Port Condition Yankee.’

According to CruiseRadio.net, Port Condition Yankee is declared if sustained winds of at least 60 miles per hour are expected. At that point, the U.S. Coast Guard instructs all major vessels to leave port in preparation for the storm’s arrival. As a result, vessels — including cruise ships — must seek refuge elsewhere.

Isaias was packing winds of 85 miles per hour at 9:30 this morning as it began to take aim at Florida’s Keys and was projected to move up the state’s east coast. Ships are easily tossed around by such winds and can cause damage where they are docked and to the ship itself.

This applies to all ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons, CruiseRadio.net reported, and as a result, both the Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Dawn left PortMiami on Friday.

Tracking apps have shown numerous ships heading west away from the storm.

Cruise ships have been docking in Florida ports for provisioning and fuel on a rotating basis during the no-sail shutdown.


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