Major Cruise Lines: Little Impact From Tsunami

As frequent travelers we all wonder about how others are being effected by events like today's Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan and thinking I could have been there, or I was there last week... I know many of us started to look at the flight status of our airline to see what went on during today's events. When I first turned on the TV around 8am in Germany I was shocked to see this tragic news. I must admit my first thought was, what about my cruise in Asia in about 40 days. I jumped online to see were the Diamond Princess was, I knew it was in Asia and has stops in and around Japan. I clicked on the ships web cam and was please to see that it was; 1, right side up and 2 was not around Japan. Then I started to think how horrifying it would be to be at sea on a cruise ship then a large wave just wipe you out, just like in the movie "The Poseidon Adventure".

Sadly there is a Small Cruise Ship with around 100 people on board still missing and it was in the hardest hit area.

Major international cruise lines operating large passenger vessels reported little or no impact from the tsunami Friday other than a few port closings and reroutings.

"Initial contacts with our members have indicated no damage to any cruise ships operating in the Pacific," said Lanie Fagan, a spokeswoman for the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 25 cruise lines, including major brands such as Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Crystal, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. She added "because a tsunami causes a rise in the height of the sea, a ship at sea is one of the safest places to be. It is when a tsunami approaches the coast that it causes damages as the wave builds in height and causes widespread flooding."

From reading some cruise lines press releases there were a few ships in the area:

Cunard's Queen Mary 2

  • Currently in Japanese waters between Osaka and Nagasaki, where it was due to arrive Saturday. Cunard spokeswoman Jackie Chase said "it is extremely unlikely that the ship will be affected in any way by the earthquake or its aftershocks."

Oceania Cruises' Nautica

  • Expects its upcoming calls in Kobe and Okinawa to be unaffected

Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America

  • Left a port in Kauai, Hawaii, at 1 a.m. local time to remain at sea until conditions were safe for the vessel to return to the island's port of Nawiliwili, according to a statement from Norwegian.

The Disney Wonder

  • Skipped a port call in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico , remaining at sea instead, the cruise line said becuase the port was closed as Latin America braced for the tsunami

Princess Cruise Lines, who I will be sailing on soon put out this statment late today, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan especially those directly affected by today's devastating earthquake. We currently have no ships in Japan, nor are any of our ships considered at risk from any tsunami activity. All Princess passengers, crew and ships are safe. We will be assessing the tourism infrastructure in Japanese ports for our scheduled calls later this month."