Cruise ships assist in evacuation of Saint Vincent residents displaced by volcanic eruptions

Serenade of the Seas (Photo: Meyer Werft)

Royal Caribbean Group, through its Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands, and Carnival Corporation have sent some of their ships to the island of Saint Vincent in the Caribbean to evacuate residents who have been put at risk by the eruption of the island’s La Soufriere volcano, which has seen increasing activity in recent days.

The cruise operators said they have been working closely with Saint Vincent authorities to assist residents who are most at risk.

Royal Caribbean International’s Serenade of the Seas (pictured), Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection, and Carnival’s Carnival Paradise and Carnival Legend arrived at the island hours after the volcano first erupted at 08:41 local time on Friday, April 9. The vessels assisted in evacuation efforts shortly upon their respective arrivals.

The cruise ships transported the displaced residents to the neighbouring islands of Saint Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, and Barbados.

The evacuation proceeded just as Saint Vincent was rocked by two additional eruptions by Friday evening.

The broader evacuation effort was able to bring an estimated 16,000 residents to safety as the island was gradually becoming covered in ash caused by the successive eruptions.

Authorities expect the eruptions are “likely to continue for days and possibly weeks.”

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