Aug 31 (Reuters) - Three Galveston, Texas-based Carnival Cruise Lines ships will return to the Port of Galveston this weekend, days after Tropical Storm Harvey forced them to delay plans to dock there, the company said on Thursday.
Carnival's Freedom, Breeze and Valor had been stationed around New Orleans while the deadly storm ripped through Houston and historic flooding forced the closure of ports in the region.
The ships had completed their planned itineraries but were unable to dock safely in Galveston on their return.
Carnival redirected the ships to New Orleans to replenish food and fuel.
Passengers were given the choice to disembark in New Orleans and arrange their own way home, or stay on board the ship and return to Galveston when possible.
Just more than half of the 11,954 passengers elected to remain on board, said Carnival spokeswoman Christine De la Huerta. Carnival provided a complimentary bus service to the airport for those who opted to disembark in New Orleans.
Carnival said it expected the Port of Galveston to reopen beginning on Friday and that all three of its ships would be en route back to Galveston by Thursday evening.
(Reporting by Alana Wise in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)