HOUSTON -- The crippled Carnival Triumph is expected to reach a dockin Mobile, Alabamalate Thursday evening.
One estimate put the ship's arrival sometime between 8 and 11 p.m. Around noon Thursday, the shipstarted making its way up an Alabama port, moving at around four knots, according to the company.
Carnival said it would take about two to three hours to get the passengers off the ship once it arrives in Mobile.
On Wednesday,a third tugboat was dispatched to theship to assist in its return to the U.S. mainland. Carnival said hotel rooms, chartered flights, and bus transportationwere waiting in Mobileto assist passengers.
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 alongwithnearly 1,100 workerssince 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.
Earlier Wednesday, Carnival announced the cancellationof Triumph cruises out of Galveston through mid-April. The company said full refunds would be issued to its customers along with a discount on a future cruise booking.