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Cruise Ports Close Ahead Of Hurricane Matthew

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TAMPA (CBSMiami) -- Hurricane Matthew has not made landfall in the United States, but is already making a mess of travel plans in the southeast. Ports in Miami, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Cape Canaveral are closed to cruise ships until further notice.

Those ports are PortMiami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, Port of Jacksonville and Port of Charleston.

"Cruise line officials have already adjusted itineraries to avoid island-destinations impacted by the hurricane, but these port closures makes returning home very tricky," said Vicky Evans, director, Field Travel Support, AAA – The Auto Club Group. "Cruise ships will have to decide whether to stay at sea or head to a different port."

No ships were due to return to port Wednesday. However, the following three vessels - originally scheduled to return on Thursday - will now return on Friday:

  • Empress of the Seas – Port Miami
  • Carnival Sensation – Port Miami
  • Carnival Victory – Port Canaveral

"It is not yet clear how long the ports will remain closed," Evans continued. "Once Hurricane Matthew passes, these ports will announce when it will re-open. Travelers with an upcoming cruise should contact their cruise line or travel agent to learn whether their vacation will be impacted by the storm."

In addition to the closing of PortMiami, the PortMiami Tunnel has closed its watertight gates for the first time since it opened two years ago as a precaution against a tidal flood from Hurricane Matthew.



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