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Vacations for Canadians

If you think cruising during hurricane season is a vacation best avoided, think again! It may actually be one of the best times to cruise and you can rest assured that you will never sail into a hurricane or tropical storm. With sophisticated systems and plans in place, cruise lines are equipped and ready to deal with any weather. 

When is Hurricane Season?

Hurricane season in the Caribbean is from June 1st to November 30th with the peak occurring between mid-August and early November. In the Eastern Caribbean, there tend to be more hurricanes toward the beginning of peak season, while in the Western Caribbean, they may occur throughout the entire period. There is also a chance that East Coast cruises could be affected by a hurricane in the Northern Atlantic. There are storm seasons in other parts of the world, too, such as Australia and the South Pacific where peak cyclone season is from January to March, and parts of Asia are susceptible to typhoons from May to October. 

Why Should I Cruise During Hurricane Season?

Since many don’t realize that cruising during hurricane season is safe, fewer people book cruises during this time. Cruise lines often offer lower fares during hurricane season, and you may find that there are less travelers (and fewer children) on board – particularly once school begins in August/September.  Ports of call may be less crowded with tourists as well making for a more pleasant shore experience. 

 

One advantage to cruising during severe weather is that unlike an island destination, ships are mobile. If severe weather approaches or is developing, the ship can be maneuvered around it or change course entirely. Only an exceedingly small percentage of cruises are affected by storms and although you may encounter slightly rougher water during hurricane season, ships are equipped with advanced onboard technology that keeps them stabilized so you likely won’t even feel light rolling. The fact that the ships are built for strength, coupled with calm Caribbean waters in the summer and fall are another reason that cruising during hurricane season will be worry-free.

Is it Safe to Cruise during Hurricane Season?

Cruise ships have sophisticated systems in place to detect any hurricane weather along the route and the captain and crew are prepared to make modifications to your itinerary should the need arise to keep you safe. This may mean an additional day at sea where you can enjoy the multitude of amenities the ship has to offer, or it could also mean a substitution for one port of call. A surprise destination can be exciting, you just have to be flexible and open to itinerary changes when cruising at this time of year. 

Will my Cruise be Cancelled?

While it is very unlikely that your cruise will be cancelled during hurricane season, it is certainly not guaranteed.  Purchasing travel insurance is essential for travel during this time (in off-hurricane season, too).  Price shouldn’t always be your determining factor for insurance, either. Look for policies with coverage for trip interruptions and cancellations due to severe weather, or a policy with “cancel for any reason” coverage like Manulife’s Premium Protection Plan. It is important to purchase travel insurance immediately after booking as many companies have time limits on purchasing coverage. Also be sure that your policy includes emergency medical and flight delay/cancellation coverage. We can help navigate travel insurance – just ask!

Statistically, the chances of your cruise being affected by a hurricane are very slim. It’s important to be open to possible itinerary changes if you choose to cruise during hurricane season, but the benefits certainly outweigh the slight chance that your vacation will be impacted by a storm. We are cruise experts at Vacations for Canadians, and are here to help you find the best possible vacation.