Cyclone Winston has left Fiji devastated
, and the death toll has jumped to 20 as the full extent of damage is uncovered. There is a long road of recovery ahead for the people of Fiji, and our thoughts are with them as they pick up and carry on.
The cyclone's aftereffects will have an impact on cruise ship movements in the next weeks and months. Many of the major lines have now released information about possible and probable itinerary changes.
The Pacific Pearl left yesterday and was headed towards Fiji, with the line still unsure which (if any) of the port visits could go ahead. As of today, they have decided that their Fiji destinations are not in a position to receive cruise ship visits, and need to concentrate on recovery. The Pacific Pearl
will instead visit Tonga, where they can offer a full program of shore tours.
P&O has committed to a $50,000 donation to Save the Children who have an active presence on the ground in Fiji.
Carnival sent their condolences and thoughts to the people of Fiji who have welcomed the line since they began sailing from Australia. They are committed to returning to Suva and Port Denarau as soon as the country is ready, and are currently evaluating planned itineraries to decide whether and when Fiji visits will be feasible. Passengers will be made aware of any changes.
Some Carnival guests have expressed a wish to help out, and Carnival have asked that they do not try to bring physical donations onboard but rather donate to Save the Children
The Dawn Princess
is due to arrive in Denarau on the 1st of March. Princess will continue to monitor the situation and will get updates and further information to their passengers whenever possible.
The line has pledged to donate $25,000 to Save the Children to help Fiji's "warm and vibrant community" with recovery efforts.
The line is saddened by the news, and is closely monitoring the storm and its aftereffects - Winston has already caused changes to be made to Voyager of the Seas
and Explorer of the Seas
current itineraries in Vanuatu.
The line will inform passengers of any changes to itineraries in the coming weeks, and will make an effort to continue scheduled port calls in the country when it is appropriate to do so. They recommend donations be made to the Red Cross Tropical Cyclone Winston Appeal
This local line runs cruises from Port Denarau to the Yasawa Islands and other isles on its boutique ship, the Reef Endeavour, along with day and dinner cruises. They have ensured wellwishers that the ships and crew are all safe with minimal damage.
Day and dinner cruises will be operating again shortly, and the first departure for the Reef Endeavour will be the 11-day Lau Cruise on the 1st of March. They have mentioned that passengers can bring basic supplies like tinned food onboard should they wish, to donate to inhabitants of the islands they visit.
We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated. Keep an eye on our news section
and Facebook page
for the latest.