Many people are worried about the future of the cruises which leave from ports in New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and potentially Florida because of the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana. While this is a terrible environmental event, so far it has not affected the cruise industry. Carnival Cruise Lines and its ship the Triumph will be watching this crisis the most since the Triumph is currently the only ship utilizing the port of New Orleans. To date the ship has been able to navigate successfully around the oil.
Cruise ships will often deviate their course in the event of bad weather and captains currently have the option to do this if necessary as a result of the accident in the gulf. A spokeswoman for Carnival said that no changes to any itineraries are expected at this time with any of the associated ports of call.
With the summer vacation season approaching quickly and no end in sight to capping the 200,000 gallons per day that is leaking into our ocean, tourists and travel professionals are understandably concerned. One advantage to arranging a cruise at this time is that the ships have the ability to relocate if necessary. However, this is not the case for innkeepers, resorts and others who rely on this season for the bulk of their annual income.
My advice for travelers is to make sure you have purchased travel protection insurance for vacation coverage in the event the oil spill or inclement weather ruins your plans. The price for a policy is a small price to pay versus losing thousands of dollars on your trip. The beauty is that you will have the option and the money to rebook your holiday at another time.
British Petroleum, for their part, have announced that it will be compensating people for 'legitimate and objectively verifiable claims' made as a result of this explosion and resulting oil spill. What that means for the tourism industry remains to be seen. No doubt, this disaster will cost billions of dollars in damages for BP and I'm sure the effects will be felt by many for a while. I will continue to update my website and write further pertinent articles as I receive more information in the future.