Guests aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend will have a slightly extended cruise due to the Port of Baltimore’s closure for Tropical Storm Ophelia.
This will also delay the beginning of the ship’s next sailing, though officials will be able to dock early on Sunday afternoon, which will only result in a delay of hours rather than a day or longer.
Carnival Legend Delayed for Storm
The 88,500-gross ton, Spirit class Carnival Legend is currently sailing an 8-night Canada cruise roundtrip from Baltimore, Maryland. The ship departed on Saturday, September 16, 2024 but will be unable to return to Baltimore as scheduled on Sunday, September 24, 2023 due to Tropical Storm Ophelia – which was downgraded to a tropical depression late Saturday evening.
The Port of Baltimore was closed to marine traffic, but a post-storm assessment of any possible damage or obstructions was made as soon as it was safe to do so. The port was set at modified Port Condition Zulu at 10 p.m. on Friday, September 22, as the storm approached.
In a notice sent to passengers, Carnival Cruise Line notified travelers of the closure and their plans for further updates.
“We are optimistic that we will receive clearance for the ship to dock early tomorrow afternoon. We will be in touch by 9:00 AM tomorrow,” the notification read.
This meant the next sailing would be necessarily delayed for at least several hours, and embarking guests will likely have to adjust their arrival times to the cruise terminal to compensate for the change.
Carnival Legend‘s next sailing is a 6-night Bermuda cruise, with an overnight stay at Kings Wharf September 27-28, before returning to Baltimore on Saturday, September 30.
Fortunately, the US Coast Guard was able to thoroughly inspect and clear the Port of Baltimore to reopen to normal operations at 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 23.
Because of the closure and Carnival Legend‘s slightly altered route and speed to remain clear of the storm, the ship is still delayed slightly on Sunday. Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests to advise them of the embarkation shift.
“The Port of Baltimore reopened overnight, and Carnival Legend will be docking early afternoon. Guests are receiving the communication advising them to move their terminal arrival appointment back by 2 hours,” explained John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line’s brand ambassador. “All guests must be on board by 6:00 PM.”
Heald also noted that there would be no delay to the ship’s planned itinerary to Bermuda. With an embarkation delay of only a few hours, it’s easy enough to adjust sailing speed to ensure an on time arrival to Kings Wharf on Wednesday, September 27.
Tropical Depression Ophelia Update
Tropical Storm Ophelia was downgraded to a tropical depression late Saturday evening, and overnight was classified as post-tropical remnants. The storm system can still bring substantial rain and localized flooding to impacted areas, though it no longer has the strength of a full tropical storm.
The approximate center of the storm system is currently located in northeastern Virginia, with maximum sustained winds of 25 miles per hour (46 kilometers per hour) and continuing to weaken.
Multiple ships have been impacted by the storm along the US east coast, with delays and itinerary adjustments to ensure smooth sailing. The most dramatic impact was the complete cancellation of Royal Caribbean International’s Vision of the Seas September 23, 2023 departure, which was to have been a 5-night Bermuda sailing.
The Atlantic hurricane season extends through November 30. At the moment, while Tropical Storm Philippe is spinning far out to sea and another tropical wave is forming off the west African coast, there are no storms set to dramatically impact cruises for at least the next several days.
Any guests with cruises booked during hurricane season should stay in close communication with their travel agent or cruise line as their sailing date approaches in case of delays, itinerary changes, or other adjustments in their travel plans.