Travel Alert: Hurricane Irma Set To Seriously Impact Parts Of Florida And The Caribbean

6 September 2017

Update 11/09/17 at 3pm

Here is the latest on Hurricane Irma:

Now a category 2 hurricane, Irma has now made landfall in the US and is heading towards the Tampa region of Florida, after battering the Florida Keys, Miami and West Palm Beach areas. 

The following states have been declared a state of emergency as the storm continues: Georgia (all counties), Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The following airports have been affected:

·         Miami Airport (MIA) will remain closed to passenger flights on Monday, September 11. Some airlines will fly in aircraft and crew in preparation for the resumption of services on Tuesday, 12 September.

·         Orlando Airport (MCO) is closed until further notice.

·         Tampa Airport (TPA) was closed on Saturday night and continues to remain closed until further notice.

·         Palm Beach Airport (PBI) was closed on Saturday and remain closed until further notice.

If you have any questions about your cruise, tour, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840. You can also consult the website of your air carrier directly for their updates.

Update 8/09/17 at 1pm

Here is the latest on Hurricane Irma:

The eye of the storm is expected to pass over the Turks and Caicos islands, with the storm brushing Haiti before heading to the Bahamas and the northern coast of Cuba. Towns and resorts on the northern coast of Cuba have been evacuated.

Irma is expected to be a category 4 storm when it reaches Florida on Sunday morning, and the following areas are under evacuation orders:

·         Florida Keys (mandatory)

·         Parts of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach

·         All Florida public schools, state colleges, universities and government offices will be closed between Friday and Monday.

·         Miami is also expected to be directly affected.

·         Customers in the risk areas, who do not have to be there, are advised to leave immediately.  

If you have any questions about your cruise, tour, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840.

You can also consult the website of your air carrier directly for their updates.


Update 7/09/17 at 11am

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Caribbean and there is significant damage over a number of islands.  The most powerful hurricane ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean remains a Category 5 system as it continues west towards the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti and Florida.

Antigua and Barbuda

·    A government official has advised that up to 90% of the buildings on Barbuda are badly damaged or destroyed.

·    There are less than 1,500 permanent residents on the island and one unconfirmed fatality.

Saint Martin and St Barts

·    The four 'most solid' buildings in Saint Martin have been destroyed and authorities believe the damage to older buildings will be even more severe.

·    The world famous Princess Julianna Airport on St Martin has been 'destroyed' by rain and winds that got up to 300km per hour.

·    Thousands are without power on both islands and there were at least two fatalities.

A new path for the hurricane has been mapped, with Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, parts of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas at high risk in the next 24 - 48 hours.  All are undertaking emergency procedures to prepare.

Irma is on track to reach Florida on late Saturday or early Sunday.  Residents of the Florida Keys have been evacuated and people in coastal or low lying areas are also being advised to prepare to leave.

Customers who are in the region should follow the instructions of local authorities and if they do not need to stay in the area, they should attempt to leave before the weekend.  Irma will affect flights in and out of Florida’s airports and some airlines have already cancelled weekend services. 

If you have any questions about your cruise, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840.


Update: 6/09/17 at 1pm

With winds now up to 300 kilometres per hour, Hurricane Irma is cutting a path across the northern Caribbean islands and has just intensified into a Category 5 storm.

Under the highest hurricane warning are several of the Leeward Islands, including Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, as well as for the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  Cuba and Haiti are also expected to be affected.

Meteorologists predict that unless Irma heads north, she will make landfall in the Florida Keys where a state of emergency has been implemented.  Residents are preparing and people in low lying areas have been advised to evacuate as a precaution before Sunday.

If you’re holidaying in any of the affected areas, please follow the direction of local authorities and expect widespread flight and ferry suspensions.

Your hotel or accommodation may also lose power and internet connection as the storm passes.  Make sure you have plenty of water in your room, and be sure to charge your phones and mobile devices in advance of the storm's approach.  If you haven't already, go online and register with Smartraveller, the Australian Government’s site for official advice while travelling.

More information will follow as we see the storm’s track towards the coast of Florida.

If you have any questions about your cruise, flights to and from the region or accommodation, please call our 24/7 customer service team for emergency global assistance on +61 7 3170 7840.

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