Operations at the Port of Galveston will remain shut down while underwater debris assessment teams investigate hazards in the ship channel and cruise operations are unlikely to resume for an indeterminate time, according to a report from the Galveston County Daily News. It is also reported that 2 to 3 feet of water flooded the cruise terminal and the wall facing the water has collapsed. Carnival Cruise Lines ships scheduled to return to Galveston on Sunday and Monday were unable to do so and have been diverted to New Orleans. Vehicles parked by cruise ship passengers at the port are most likely a total loss, according to city spokesperson Alicia Cahill.
Carnival Cruise Lines has issued the following statement as of 6pm, Sept 14:
We are closely monitoring the situation in Galveston and the impact from Hurricane Ike. We do not currently have a lot of information about the status of the shipping channel, cruise terminal or the port access infrastructure. Local communication has been very challenging and there are restrictions against incoming traffic into the Galveston area.We do not expect the Port of Galveston to be open on Monday and there is tremendous uncertainty about when the port will be available to us next week. Due to this situation, we will now cancel the following cruises:
- Carnival Conquest Sept 14 departure that was re-scheduled to a 6 day cruise departing on Monday, Sept 15
- Carnival Ecstasy Sept 15 departure
- Carnival Conquest Sept 7 Departure: The Carnival Conquest cruise that departed on Sept 7 will return to New Orleans on Monday, Sept 15. Guests will be able to debark on Monday or Tuesday. Guests will also be able to remain onboard and sail back to Galveston with the ship. However, we are uncertain about when the Port of Galveston will re-open.
- Carnival Ecstasy Sept 11 Departure: The Carnival Ecstasy cruise that departed on Sept 11 will return to New Orleans on Tuesday, Sept 16 (2:00 PM arrival). Guests will be able to debark on Tuesday or Wednesday. Guests will also be able to remain onboard and sail back to Galveston with the ship. However, we are uncertain about when the Port of Galveston will re-open.