The fatal category five Tropical Cyclone Winston that hit Fiji is causing cruise lines to stay clear of the region and closely monitor the situation.
On its Australian Facebook page, Carnival Cruise Line says, “with regards to our upcoming itineraries to Fiji, we are fully committed to returning to Suva and Port Denarau as soon as the people of Fiji are ready to welcome us back. We are still evaluating the impact of the storm and will advise our booked guests if we believe a change to any itineraries is required.”
Carnival adds that the company will only visit the affected area if the destination is capable of accommodating the call. The line will contact guests and travel agents directly should their itineraries be altered.
Royal Caribbean International has already had to reroute its Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas away from Mystery Island and Port Vila.
In a statement on its Australian website, Royal Caribbean says, “all sailings will continue to embark as scheduled from Australia and we will advise our guests of any itinerary changes to future cruises as and when they occur, in order to provide them with a safe and comfortable holiday. We’ll continue to support Fiji as they rebuild and recover, making every effort to maintain our scheduled port calls in the weeks and months ahead, if it is appropriate to do so.”
Similarly, P&O Cruises pulled the Pacific Pearl from Fiji to send it to Tonga instead, and the Pacific Jewel also skipped Mystery Island. The line commented on its Australian Facebook page: “we have determined that our Fiji destinations are not in a position to receive visitors at this time. It is only reasonable that these communities are able to concentrate completely on recovery operations.”
Cruise Critic is reporting that Cunard Line has also diverted the Queen Victoria on its world cruise away from Apia, and Princess Cruises is watching the area as it may affect Dawn Princess and its March 1 call at Denarau.
In the meantime, a 30-day State of Disaster issued by The Fijian government is currently in effect.