A lot of you will have seen in the news, this year’s hurricane season in the Caribbean has been devastating for the region. Hurricane Irma has left a path of destruction in its wake, which may take years for certain areas to fully recover.

And with hurricane Maria due to hit the Eastern Caribbean immediately, you might be thinking about what long-term implications this may have for the region…

Let’s start with the basics – when is hurricane season?

Hurricane season runs every year in the Caribbean from June until the end of November. They’re caused by the tropical atmosphere present at this time of year, so it’s not unusual for hurricanes to form – on average there are six hurricanes per year in the Caribbean. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have predicted that this year there are likely to be up to nine.

Why have this year’s hurricanes been so severe?

This year’s hurricane season has been been particularly active due to ‘hurricane friendly’ conditions in the Atlantic. The two main factors contributing to this are warm sea temperatures and low pressure, causing the hurricanes to efficiently intensify.

What is the cruise industry doing to help?

The cruise industry is backing efforts to help the recovery of the islands and parts of Florida affected by hurricane Irma, with Carnival pledging $10 million to boost the relief efforts.

Carnival Corporation chief executive, Arnold Donald, said – “We are committed to supporting relief efforts where Hurricane Irma left an impact in Florida and the Caribbean, starting with immediate humanitarian needs and recovery efforts that will have a meaningful impact.”

“Hurricane Irma’s impact strikes close to home both in our home state of Florida and across the Caribbean, where we and our brands have made many friends and partners over the years.”

Carnival have also been actively involved in the relief effort by deploying 11 of their cruise ships to transport essential supplies to the worst affected ports – carrying food, water, clothing and medical supplies. Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean® have also deployed ships to deliver aid, as well as rescue islanders left stranded by the aftermath of hurricane Irma.

Why it’s important to to keep going to the Caribbean

Tourism is one of the biggest economies in the Caribbean – so to help the recovery of the affected islands, cruise lines are returning to business as usual. We all love this stunning destination – the paradise islands, sunny weather and friendly people keep us wanting to return again and again.

The cruise industry is in a unique position in that it doesn’t rely on land-based hotels in order to provide tourism to the area, and with many cruise lines actually owning private resorts and islands here, the cruise industry may play a crucial part in the recovery of the Caribbean.

Vice president and managing director of Celebrity Cruises® UK & Ireland & Asia, Jo Rzymowska said – “Our thoughts are with the Caribbean now more than ever. It’s so important we continue to visit and support the islands which we are very committed to. It’s in our DNA to do what we can in these situations. We are getting back to normal and it’s very important that we now focus on supporting the Caribbean as a destination.”

Booked a Caribbean cruise?

The Caribbean is still open for business. Cruise lines are still sailing here, with some itineraries having been amended to avoid the worst affected areas until they’re more recovered. If you’d like to know if your cruise has been affected, check your online cruise personaliser or contact your cruise line directly for the most up to date information.

Head to our Deals section to see if there’s a sailing to suit you, or simply give our friendly cruise team a call on 0800 107 2323.

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