Coronavirus Cruise Impact Tuesday Update

Tianjin Port

The Diamond Princess continues to sit quarantined with worsening numbers, with the latest reports noting that there were now 65 more coronavirus cases aboard. That means the total number is up to 135.

In a separate situation, the Nippon Maru docked in Honolulu last week and passengers were not permitted to leave the ship. Carrying almost all Japanese guests, the ship had sailed from Ensenada, Mexico and was on a long sailing roundtrip from Japan.

Celebrity Cruises has cancelled the Millennium sailing departing February 15, 2020.

While the Anthem of the Seas was cleared in Bayonne on Friday, the Bermuda government is not taking any chances with the ship set to arrive on Wednesday Feb. 12. According to a statement, local officials said the will apply their own protocols at the points of entry, screening travelers.

“Arriving travelers will undergo a travel risk assessment by a Health Officer and could have their health monitored and movement on island restricted for up to 14 days,” said the statement.

Ships out of service due to the coronavirus scare include the SuperStar Aquarius, SuperStar Gemini, World Dream, Spectrum of the Seas, Costa neoRomantica, Costa Serena, Costa Venezia and Costa Atlantica. Chinese operators that have curtailed service include Bohai Ferry and Astro Ocean Cruises, each with one ship serving the local market.

The next cruise on the Westerdam is also cancelled, and Norwegian has cancelled its entire Asia season on the Spirit, with a deployment announcement soon to follow on a replacement cruise program.

Crystal Cruises is another line working hard to modify itineraries between now and April aboard the Crystal Symphony.

“We are finalizing the day-by-day itineraries as we are working to maintain as many of the original ports as possible. Revised itinerary details will be forthcoming within the week,” the company said. “Please note that any calls into Taiwan will be replaced with Singapore. For full voyages, we are maintaining the same departure and return dates, but beginning and ending in Singapore. Embarkation and disembarkation ports for Getaway sailings are pending.”

“Due to the fluidity of the situation, we understand that guests may want to defer their vacation to a later date. If they choose not to sail, they will receive a 100 percent future cruise credit of the cruise fare paid that can be used on any of Crystal’s experiences including Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition for voyages commencing on or before April 2021.”

Princess has announced additional health screening measures, including temporarily banning new Chinese crew. “Crew members from China will be delayed from joining any ship until further notice,” according to a statement. 

In terms of alternate deployment plans, Taiwan remains closed to cruise ships, as does Hong Kong. Guam and Japan, which are thought to be in other contingency plans, recently turned away calls from the Westerdam. The Philippines has done similar, closing Manila to potential ship calls.

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