Hurricane Irma has sent shipping into disarray, particularly for cruise passengers. Around 40,000 holidaymakers are estimated to have been affected by disruption to scheduled cruises this week and this figure could rise further as Irma speeds through the Caribbean towards southern Florida.

he hurricane has already devastated areas of the British Virgin Islands, St Martin, Barbuda, St Barthelemy and Anguilla and AIS data shows 12 cruise ships are currently still in Irma’s path, but there is no cause of concern thanks to weather routing guidance, according to Tom Strang, senior vice-president, maritime affairs at Carnival Corporation & plc.

“Modern cruise vessels are designed to be able to cope with such extreme weather,” he explains. “We have contracted-in weather service providers, who have sophisticated weather prediction software and models that allow us to suggest best options to avoid the worst weather to our vessels’ masters.”

As explained by UK Chamber of Shipping, operators that are able to re-route vessels out of a storm’s path will do so, but this can have massive cost implications, as an average day’s sailing costs around $80,000 at today’s prices. However, a sophisticated system monitoring weather systems, as used by……Source: Safety4sea