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Oil Spill Delaying Multiple Cruise Ships

Update: As of 3:15 p.m. Carnival has said it is cancelling today’s embarkation for the Carnival Magic and choosing to tentatively go with a 6-day cruise instead of the scheduled 7-day cruise. Passengers can still elect to sail and receive a refund of one day’s fare, reschedule their trip, or they can cancel entirely and receive a refund/future credit. We have not heard word from other cruise lines.

Click here to see Carnival’s full statement.

An oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel is causing havoc. A collision between a barge and a ship has created an environmental crisis as the barge — said the be carrying nearly a million gallons of fuel oil — has sprung a leak.

According the Washington Post, “While the remaining oil in the damaged barge is removed Sunday, the mouth of Houston ship channel is closed to all ships in either direction. It’s not clear when it will reopen, Danus said. Twenty-seven vessels, including two cruise ships, are waiting to enter the channel from the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty-four vessels, including one cruise ship, are waiting to leave Galveston Bay.

Carnival has sent out an alert on their website:

Web Update – 1:45PM EDT
Carnival Magic – 03/23/2014
The fog has lifted, however, the Port of Galveston remains closed to all inbound and outbound ship traffic due to an oil spill caused by the sunken barge we had previously communicated. We are in constant communication with the United States Coast Guard and port officials regarding the situation.

We will provide you with another update no later than 2:30 PM (CDT). Please do not proceed to the cruise terminal until you hear from us.

In the meantime, to stay in touch, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to sign up for text alerts by texting CCL1 to CRUISE (278473) to receive updates.

Royal Caribbean hasn’t shared anything publicly that we’ve found. However, with the channel shut down, you can expect delays for all ships in and out of the ports of Galveston and Bayport. We suggest you keep in touch with the cruise lines at the following phone numbers:

Royal Caribbean: (800) 256-6649
Carnival: (800) 764-7419
Princess: (800) PRINCESS

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