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Hurricane Lee is impacting cruise itineraries (more updates)

Hurricane Lee, which has been churning far out in the Atlantic for days, is impacting some Caribbean, Bermuda and Canada/New England cruises as it turns northward.

Lee is expected to pass west of Bermuda on Thursday and currently is projected to reach Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the weekend.

Caribbean changes

Several Royal Caribbean International ships switched from eastern Caribbean to western Caribbean itineraries. They include Port Canaveral-based Wonder of the Seas, which will call at Cozumel on Sept. 13 and Roatán Sept. 14, Miami-based Harmoney of Seas, rerouted to Costa May Sept. 13 and Cozumel Sept. 14 and Port Everglades-based Adventure of the Seas, which called Roatán Monday and Cozumel today. 

Bypassing Bermuda

Oceania Cruises' Insignia changed its Sept. 13 Bermuda cruise into a Bahamas voyage. Here's how the line explained the situation to customers and travel advisors: 'Hurricane Lee is currently forecasted to continue tracking north and be in the vicinity of Bermuda on Thursday and Friday. Due to the vast size of the storm, dangerous wind and sea conditions extend far beyond the storm's center. Having taken the forecasted storm track and conditions into account, Insignia's itinerary is being amended to sail to the Bahamas.'

Instead of its scheduled Sept. 9 Bermuda cruise, Royal Caribbean International's Baltimore-based Vision of the Seas headed to the Bahamas, calling Perfect Day at CocoCay yesterday and Nassau today. The ship will return to Baltimore one day earlier, on Sept. 14, with passengers staying aboard until their scheduled disembarkation date of Sept. 15.  

Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Mariner, which is nearing the end of a long repositioning cruise that departed Venice Aug. 24, is also bypassing Bermuda, where the ship was scheduled to call Sept. 14 and 15. Instead, Seven Seas Mariner is continuing straight to New York. Its last port call was Santa Cruz de Palma in the Canary Islands on Sept. 8.

Canada/New England

Many ships are in the Canada/New England region for fall foliage season.

Norwegian Cruise Line's New York-based Norwegian Escape is sailing a revised route and called at Saint John, New Brunswick Wednesday in lieu of Bar Harbor. The ship will skip Halifax, spend the day at sea and return early to New York, overnighting at anchorage on Friday and then docking Saturday overnight with disembarkation Sunday, as planned.

Oceania Cruises' Vista is now heading straight to New York and bypassing  Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport. The ship is scheduled to arrive at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Friday morning instead of Sunday. 

Liberty of the Seas, which sailed north from Bayonne, New Jersey's Cape Liberty Sept. 7, is returning earlier than scheduled, on Sept. 14, with passengers staying aboard until the scheduled disembarkation Sept. 16.

Vision of the Seas' Sept. 14 nine-night Canada/New England cruise from Baltimore has been changed into a Florida/Bahamas cruise. The ship will overnight at Baltimore Sept. 14 then visit Port Canaveral, Nassau and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

At Princess Cruises, the Sept. 9 weeklong Emerald Princess Canada/New England cruise from Rockland, Maine, will skip Halifax on Thursday and sail directly to New York's Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, arriving Sept. 15, one day earlier than expected. Passengers will overnight on board.

And Caribbean Princess, currently on a 10-day voyage that departed Québec City Sept. 9, has an altered itinerary. The ship will call at Sydney, Nova Scotia on Thursday, replacing Charlottetown, PEI. Plans are in the works for the ship to dock in Boston beginning Sept. 15 for an extended period as a safe refuge from the storm. The remainder of the itinerary will be evaluated as the situation progresses, with the expectation for Caribbean Princess to disembark in New York as scheduled on Sept. 19.

Word on itinerary changes is awaited from a number of lines.

Spokespersons from Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises had no changes so far.

Category 3 hurricane

Lee is currently a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of near 115 mph/185 km/h with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said 'some slow weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours but Lee is expected to remain a large and powerful hurricane.' 

Updates add Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line itinerary changes, as well as Oceania Cruises' Vista