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Passengers Stranded by Sandy Will Have Option to Leave Cruise Ship

Norwegian Cruise Line(NEW YORK) -- A cruise ship stranded by Hurricane Sandy will call on Boston Wednesday, giving passengers the option to disembark as the ship loads up on fuel and provisions before heading back to sea.

Norwegian Cruise Line's ship -- the Gem -- was due to arrive in New York City Monday, but couldn't because the Port of New York was closed.  The ship was returning from a nine-day trip to the Eastern Caribbean, sailing round-trip from New York City.

The port remains closed, but the ship is able to go to Boston on Wednesday, according to a statement posted on the company's Facebook page Tuesday night.

"Norwegian Gem will call in Boston tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31, at 9:30 a.m. to take on provisions and fuel. Guests will have the opportunity to go ashore in Boston," it said.  "The ship will depart Boston at 3 p.m. and sail toward New York and remain at sea until the Port of New York reopens. Norwegian Gem's captain will continue to keep guests informed."

"Guests who wish to disembark in Boston may do so.  For those guests who purchased air through Norwegian, we will assist with re-booking their air travel subject to availability as Logan International Airport is open.  We are also offering complimentary phone and Internet services for guests," the statement continued.

But because the cruise was scheduled to end in New York, the vast majority of passengers likely either live in the New York City area or are ticketed to fly home from New York City.  While the airlines have issued flexible travel policies, most stipulate the departure and origination cities must remain the same.  Passengers who choose to leave the ship in Boston might be out additional money for a hotel room as they wait for a flight, or will have to figure out how to get back to New York City and then again find a place to stay while waiting for a flight.

For some, it might make sense to simply stay onboard the Gem until the Port of New York reopens.  It's unclear when that will be.

Cruise line spokeswoman Vanessa Lane on Monday told ABC News that all passengers on the ship "are comfortable."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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