Florence force cruise ships to The Bahamas

(Photo courtesy of cnn.com)

Thousands of people have been forced to their have their cruise vacations changed for safety reasons as a result of Hurricane Florence.

More than 4,000 people onboard the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Escape are currently making their way to The Bahamas instead of their original destination of Bermuda in order to avoid the devastating storm.

According to USA Today, the ship left New York Sunday, September 9 with compass directions toward New Providence and Great Stirrup Cay in The Bahamas instead of Bermuda’s King’s Wharf as planned.

Royal Caribbean’s 2,446-passenger vessel Grandeur of the Seas has also been redirected from Bermuda to The Bahamas after leaving Baltimore on Saturday, September 8 with hopes of avoiding the hurricane, which is estimated by meteorologists to make landfall on the United States (U.S.) east coast as early as today.

Two ships operated by luxury cruise line Oceania Cruises have also had to modify their itineraries. Itís 684-passenger Sirena will completely bypass Bermuda during its journey from Europe and will now instead call at Nassau on September 15, before returning to Miami the next day.

The cruise line stated on their twitter feed that ìthe safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority.

According to the most recent National Hurricane Center update, Florence is centred around 575 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at around 17 miles per hour.

It is feared the current Category 4 storm could batter North and South Carolina and Virginia with winds of up to 150 miles per hour by the time it reaches land.