Harvey leaves thousands of cruisers, crew out to sea

The ships packing nearly 12,000 guests and roughly 3,500 crew members combined are delaying returns to the Port of Galveston.

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At the edge of the burnt of Harvey, residents are assessing damage and beginning the clean up process. (August 26)
AP

The 2,974-passenger, 110,000-ton Carnival Valor is another Conquest Class vessel that debuted in 2004. It sails to the Caribbean out of Galveston, Texas.(Photo: ANDY NEWMAN, ANDY NEWMAN/CCL)

Thousands of guests and crew members aboard three Carnival Cruise ships will likely get an extended stay at sea as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

The ships packing nearly 12,000 guests and roughly 3,700 crew members combined may be delaying returns to the Port of Galveston, a Gulf Coast stop near Houston. 

The port, which hosts all three ships year-round, closed Friday ahead of the storm and remained closed Saturday afternoon. 

“If there is a lull in the storm the Captain of the Port MAY allow for inbound cruise vessels however there is no safety guarantee,” said a Saturday afternoon post on the port’s Facebook page. 

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The company said the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor, which were scheduled to return to port on Saturday, would “remain a safe distance from the storm” on Friday. Both plan to stop at New Orleans on Saturday to restock on food, fuel and water. Guests are able to disembark the ship there, but the company has urged them to stay on board.

“Given the severity and projected path of the storm along with potential challenges guests may encounter attempting to travel back to Galveston independently, we are strongly encouraging them to remain on board as we intend to return the ships to Galveston as soon as feasible,” the company said in an email. 

The other ship, the Carnival Breeze, was slated to return to the port on Sunday, but remains at a dock in Cozumel, Mexico. It was scheduled to head toward Galveston today in order to prepare to let off guests. 

Follow Sean Rossman on Twitter: @SeanRossman

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