TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - High winds and rough seas have delayed the return of the Carnival cruise ship Inspiration to its home port of Tampa, Florida, the company said on Monday.
The ship, with about 2,300 passengers, was due to return on Monday morning but was waiting in the Gulf of Mexico for better weather before sailing under the Sunshine Skyway bridge into Tampa Bay.
The ship was supposed to leave Tampa on Monday afternoon for a five-day cruise to the Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico, but now will not leave until Tuesday, Carnival said in a statement.
"Because of the delayed arrival, Carnival Inspiration's five-day cruise scheduled to depart Monday and visit Grand Cayman and Cozumel will now operate as a four-day voyage to Cozumel departing Tuesday, December 14," the company said.
Several cargo ships have also been prevented from entering the port. The U.S. Coast Guard warned boaters of high seas and strong winds in the Gulf with waves as high as 10 to 15 feet.
In 1980, a freighter trying to enter Tampa Bay hit the Sunshine Skyway bridge and knocked its main span into the water, killing 35 people. The rebuilt bridge opened in 1987.
(Reporting by Robert Green, editing by Jane Sutton)