Guests aboard Norwegian Escape will have more days at sea and an earlier return to New York than originally planned on the current sailing in order to avoid the roughest weather from Hurricane Lee.
Two ports of call are cancelled, one is changed to a different day, and guests will receive two types of compensation for the disruption.
Norwegian Escape Skips Ports, Returns Early
The 164,600-gross ton, Breakaway Plus class Norwegian Escape is altering course to avoid the brunt of Hurricane Lee as the storm approaches eastern Canada this weekend.
The ship’s current sailing is a 7-night Canada & New England itinerary roundtrip from New York, but because of the hurricane, guests will only enjoy one port of call in Canada and will instead return early to New York.
“To avoid Hurricane Lee’s expected inclement weather and path, we have made the difficult decision to adjust the remainder of our itinerary,” the notification to guests onboard explained. “Rest assured, these modifications were made with great consideration as your safety, and that of our crew, is always our number one priority.”
The cruise was originally scheduled to visit Newport, Rhode Island; Portland and Bar Harbor in Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. A single day at sea at the end of the cruise finished up the itinerary.
Now, the ship has already safely visited Newport and Portland, but the call to Bar Harbor on Wednesday, September 13 was cancelled.
Instead, the visit to Saint John – originally scheduled for Thursday – was moved to Wednesday, and will be the final port of call on the sailing. The visit to Halifax has also been cancelled. Norwegian Escape will still begin disembarkation as normal on September 17, 2023.
Shore excursions booked through Norwegian Cruise Line for the cancelled ports of call are being refunded automatically to guests’ onboard accounts, while tours for Saint John were rescheduled to the correct day and time. If changes were not able to be made, those tours were also refunded.
“We understand that itinerary changes can be frustrating, so we offer our genuine apologies for any disappointment this may have caused,” the cruise line acknowledges.
To thank guests for their understanding, Norwegian Cruise Line is providing a $100 (USD) stateroom credit ($50 per guests one and two on each cabin’s account) for use onboard.
All guests are also receiving a 10% future cruise credit (FCC) that can be used for any published sailings through December 31, 2024. The credit will be available for use from October 2, 2023.
Norwegian Escape is currently homeported from New York, offering 7-night Canada & New England cruises through mid-October, with several Bermuda sailings on offer after that.
In mid-November, the ship will reposition to Miami to offer Caribbean cruises through the winter months, before moving to the Mediterranean in April 2024.
Hurricane Lee Status
As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Hurricane Lee is approximately 790 miles (1,271 kilometers) east of Port Canaveral and moving mostly north at 9 miles per hour (14 kilometers per hour).
The storm has weakened to a Category 2 with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph (169 kph), and is expected to continue to gradually weaken as it makes its way further north.
Tropical storm watches are now in effect along the east coast from eastern Connecticut to central Maine, with hurricane watches in effect further north along the coast.
The storm is expected to make landfall likely as a hurricane on Saturday evening or overnight into Sunday morning. Though the exact point of impact is not yet certain, landfall is most likely in the area of northern Maine or Nova Scotia. The storm’s wind field is extensive, however, and strong impacts may be felt far away from the exact center of the storm.
Follow along with Cruise Hive’s Hurricane Watch for additional updates on Hurricane Lee, other storm development, itinerary changes, and additional impacts these storms have on cruise travel.