USA TODAY: Bill, the first Atlantic Hurricane of the 2009 season, reached Category 4 strength today, and two cruise lines have so far modified their itineraries to keep their ships out of harm’s way.
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane advisory for the storm, saying it could strengthen over the next 24 hours. Bill currently has wind speeds of 135 miles per hour as it churns through the Atlantic 460 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
The Carnival Glory, on a seven-day cruise from Port Canaveral that left on Aug. 15, will stay at sea today instead of calling on St. Maarten, will visit Grand Turk tomorrow instead of spending the day at sea, and will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday as planned.
Norwegian Cruise Line said that Norwegian Dawn and the Norwegian Majesty would most likely leave Bermuda early tomorrow, but that so far no changes have been made to this weekend’s Bermuda cruises.
The NHC said that the storm would cause large swells in the islands of the Northeast Caribbean during the next day or two, and would then affect Bermuda and parts of the east coast of the United States as it heads north on Friday and Saturday.