At least four cruise lines have been forced to alter itineraries as a result of an ongoing eruption by the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.
Crystal Cruises is the latest line to make the changes, replacing Crystal Symphony’s May 23rd call at Hilo with a sea day, although it will visit Kailua Kona on May 24th as planned.
Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean also previously rerouted ships.
Kilauea volcano erupted on Thursday May 3rd, spewing lava hundreds of feet into the air. Since then, more than 20 fissures have opened in nearby communities leaking even more molten lava.
Sea Princess skipped a scheduled port of call to Hilo on May 18th whilst NCL’s Hawaii-based ship, Pride of America, replaced its Hilo stop on May 15th with a day at sea.
On May 16th, in lieu of calling at Kona, the ship returned to Maui where it had already spent the day on May 13th.
Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas also cancelled its visit to Hilo, in the immediate wake of the volcano’s most recent activity.
According to a Princess statement, “ remains open to ship traffic and is operating normally. Guests will have no disruption to shore excursions in Kona, but those with independent arrangements may find some areas of the island inaccessible.
Princess advises all guests to heed all warnings from local authorities and stay out of any restricted areas.”
Both Hilo, the largest city on Hawaii’s Big Island, and Kailua Kona are located on the Big Island, where varying levels of volcanic smog have affected the air quality in the southern part of the island.
Volcanoes National Park, which is located less than an hour away from Hilo and is one of the biggest attractions on the island for cruisers, had been closed since a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit on Friday May 4th. However, parts of the park have reopened.
The U.S. Geological Survey said, as of May 20th: “Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system.”
It warns that future outbreaks of the existing fissures could occur, or existing fissures can be reactivated, and that conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly.
What are your thoughts on the news? Do you agree it was right for the cruise lines to take the necessary precautions following the volcanic eruption? Leave us your comments below…
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