Travel Alert

Travel Alert: Hurricane Irma Set To Seriously Impact Florida and the Caribbean

06 Sep 2017

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Update 12/09/17

Hurricane Irma has now been downgraded to a tropical storm with sustained winds of up to 60mph (96kph). Currently, around 9.6 million people are without power across the southern USA states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama. There is serious flooding and damage across areas of these states. Check with local authorities and your airline or cruise ship website before you make your way to the airport or dock for onward travel.

Airport updates

Most Florida airports (Miami Airport, Orlando Airport, Tampa Airport and Palm Beach Airport) are slowly resuming mostly limited services today, however flights in other states will be affected:

  • Charleston (South Carolina) Airport (CHS) has cancelled most flights until further notice due to flooding.
  • Tallahassee Airport (TLH) in Florida has cancelled all flights in and out of the airport today.
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia has a number of flights cancelled or delayed today.

Cruise updates

Royal Carribean International:

The following sailings have been cancelled as ships are deployed to help with the humanitarian effort in St Maartan, St Thomas and Key West:

  • Empress of the Seas - September 13 Cuba cruise
  • Majesty of the Seas - September 15 Bahamas cruise

The following sailings are being modified - check with your consultant for more information:

  • Allure of the Seas - September 10 Western Caribbean cruise
  • Harmony of the Seas - September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise
  • Oasis of the Seas - September 10 Eastern Caribbean cruise
  • Enchantment of the Seas - September 11 Bahamas cruise

Disney Cruise Line:

The following sailings are being modified - check with your consultant for more information:

  • Disney Fantasy - September 2 Western Caribbean cruise
  • Disney Dream - September 4 Bahamas cruise

The following sailings has been cancelled:

  • Disney Dream - September 8 cruise
  • Disney Dream - September 11 cruise

Carnival Cruise Line:

The following sailings have been cancelled:

  • Carnival Liberty - September 7 cruise
  • Carnival Victory - September 8 cruise
  • Carnival Splendor - September 9 cruise
  • Carnival Ecstasy - September 9 cruise
  • Carnival Liberty - September 10 cruise
  • Carnival Paradise - September 11 cruise

The following sailings are being modified - check with your consultant for more information:

  • Carnival Conquest - September 9 cruise
  • Carnival Glory - September 9 cruise
  • Carnival Magic - September 9 cruise
  • Carnival Vista - September 9 cruise
  • Carnival Victory - September 11 cruise
  • Carnival Sensation - September 11 cruise

If you have any questions about your cruise, tour, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840. You can also consult the website of your air carrier or cruise line directly for their updates.

Update 11/09/17

Now a category 2 hurricane, Irma has now made landfall in the US and is heading towards the Tampa region of Florida, after battering the Florida Keys, Miami and West Palm Beach areas.

The following states have been declared a state of emergency as the storm continues: Georgia (all counties), Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The following airports have been affected:

  • Miami Airport (MIA) will remain closed to passenger flights on Monday, September 11. Some airlines will fly in aircraft and crew in preparation for the resumption of services on Tuesday, 12 September.
  • Orlando Airport (MCO) is closed until further notice.
  • Tampa Airport (TPA) was closed on Saturday night and continues to remain closed until further notice.
  •  Palm Beach Airport (PBI) was closed on Saturday and remain closed until further notice.

If you have any questions about your cruise, tour, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840. You can also consult the website of your air carrier directly for their updates.


Update 8/09/17

The eye of the storm is expected to pass over the Turks and Caicos islands, with the storm brushing Haiti before heading to the Bahamas and the northern coast of Cuba. Towns and resorts on the northern coast of Cuba have been evacuated.

Irma is expected to be a category 4 storm when it reaches Florida on Sunday morning, and the following areas are under evacuation orders:

  • Florida Keys (mandatory)
  • Parts of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach
  • All Florida public schools, state colleges, universities and government offices will be closed between Friday and Monday.
  • Miami is also expected to be directly affected.
  • Customers in the risk areas, who do not have to be there, are advised to leave immediately. 

If you have any questions about your cruise, tour, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840.

You can also consult the website of your air carrier directly for their updates.


Update 7/09/17

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Caribbean and there is significant damage over a number of islands.  The most powerful hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean remains a Category 5 system as it continues west towards the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti and Florida.

Antigua and Barbuda

A government official has advised that up to 90% of the buildings on Barbuda are badly damaged or destroyed. There are less than 1,500 permanent residents on the island and one unconfirmed fatality.

Saint Martin and St Barts

The four 'most solid' buildings in Saint Martin have been destroyed and authorities believe the damage to older buildings will be even more severe.

The world famous Princess Julianna Airport on St Martin has been 'destroyed' by rain and winds that reached 300km per hour.

Thousands are without power on both islands and there were at least two fatalities.

A new path for the hurricane has been mapped, with Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, parts of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas at high risk in the next 24 - 48 hours.  All are undertaking emergency procedures to prepare.

Irma is on track to reach Florida on late Saturday or early Sunday.  Residents of the Florida Keys have been evacuated and people in coastal or low lying areas are also being advised to prepare to leave.

Customers who are in the region should follow the instructions of local authorities and if they do not need to stay in the area, they should attempt to leave before the weekend.  Irma will affect flights in and out of Florida’s airports and some airlines have already cancelled weekend services.


Update: 6/09/17 at 1pm

Hurrican Irma is cutting a path across the northern Caribbean islands with winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour. Irma has intensified to a category five storm and it is feared that it will seriously impact parts of Florida as well as the northern Carribean islands. 

Regions with the highest level of warning are:

Caribbean 

  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • Anguilla
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

US and British Virgin Islands

  • Puerto Rico 
  • Dominican Republic

Cuba and Haiti are also expected to be affected.

Meteorologists predict that unless Irma heads north, she will make landfall in the Florida Keys where a state of emergency has been implemented. Residents are preparing for the storm and people in low-lying areas have been advised to evacuate as a precaution before Sunday.

Hotels and resorts in the path of the hurricane are taking the appropriate precautions to secure their properties and protect their guests. Any travellers in the affected areas should ensure they have plenty of bottled water in their rooms and that their phones and mobile devices are charged in expectation of a power loss during the storm.

For more information contact your Travel Associates advisor, or get in touch on 1800 017 849