UPDATE: Third tugboat dispatched to Carnival Triumph; will arrive in Alabama on Thursday




UPDATE: HOUSTON (KHOU) -- A third tugboat has been dispatched to the Carnival Triumph to assist in its return to the U.S. mainland, the company said Wednesday afternoon.

Carnival said the ship is now expected to arrive in Mobile, Alabama on Thursday where hotel rooms, chartered flights, and bus transportation were waiting to assist passengers. It was previously thought Triumph could arrive as early as Wednesday evening.

"Carnival has reserved and arranged the following: approximately 100 motor coaches; more than 1,500 New Orleans hotel rooms; multiple charter flights from New Orleans to Houston on Friday; and transportation from Houston to the Port of Galveston so that guests may retrieve their cars if they drove to the port," said a statement from the company.

More than 3,100 vacationers have been stuck on the ship along with nearly 1,100 workers since an engine fire disabled it in the Gulf. Carnival said it will cover all travel related and incidental expenses.

The U.S. Coast Guard is monitoring the ship's progress as it is being towed. The third tugboat, from Louisiana, was expected to arrive at Triumph on Wednesday night.

Earlier Wednesday, Carnival also announced the cancellation of Triumph cruises out of Galveston through mid-April. The company said full refunds would be issued to its customers.


GALVESTON (KHOU) -- Carnival Cruise Lines announced Wednesday it would cancel 12 more voyages of its Carnival Triumph, effecting sailings From Feb. 21 to April 13.


The Feb. 11 and Feb. 16 cruises were already canceled.

The company said guests would receive a full refund of their cruise fare as well as any other pre-paid  non-refundable transportation costs.

Guests will also receive a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise or a 15 percent discount on a six- to seven-day cruise.

The cancellations come after the Carnival Triumph suffered an engine fire while in the Gulf of Mexico on its way back to Galveston. The ship became stranded with more than 3,000 passengers onboard.

Triumph was expected to be towed to Alabama by late Wednesday night.


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