A number of Cruise lines that were set to visit ports in Japan are altering their itinerary to bypass the country due to the recent disasters.
Even though some ports remain open and could accommodate the cruise ships, certain cruise lines have determined it is best to bypass Japan all together, according to reports. Rather than visit the devastated region, they have instead added longer stays in previously scheduled locations or are visiting alternate locations. Japan was heavily damaged by an earthquake, the 5th strongest in modern times, and a tsunami, on March 11.
Oceania Cruises stated that their reasoning for canceling plans to visit Japan this trip was due to the fact that Japan needed to focus its time and resources on rescue and recovery. They felt it was the best course of action for them to bypass their planned stops and replace them with extended visits elsewhere.
Other cruise lines reported to be cancelling trips to Japan include Cunard and Azamara Club Cruises.
Princess Cruises is continuing to plan for a stop in Japan. They issued a statement yesterday saying that “..our Security Department remains in close contact with the U.S. State Department and continues to monitor the situation. The safety and security of our passengers and crew is our priority. Princess ships are currently scheduled to call to ports in Japan beginning on March 28, 2011.”
Royal Carribean has not released a statement as to their plans.
For the cruise lines that are altering routes, none have indicated how long they plan to remain away from Japan.