Cruise Lines Cancel Voyages Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak
Several lines that operate cruises in and around China have canceled sailings in light of the recent outbreak of Coronavirus in the country’s Wuhan province. So far, nearly 2,000 people have been sickened and 56 have died from the mysterious respiratory illness in China, and it’s spread to neighboring countries. Five cases have also been confirmed in the U.S. as of Sunday, January 26.
Royal Caribbean has canceled its 4-night January 27 sailing on the new Spectrum of the Seas, which was scheduled to depart today from Shanghai to Japan. Costa Cruises has also canceled a series of voyages on Costa Serena, Atlantica, Venezia, and neoRomantica that were scheduled to depart between January 25 and February 2. Additionally, a January 28 voyage on MSC Cruises’ MSC Splendida from Shanghai has been canceled as well.
Chinese-owned Astro Ocean Cruises has canceled their upcoming voyage on their ship Piano Land, and Genting Cruise Lines has canceled a turnaround call in Guangzhou for World Dream.
Other cruise lines are also taking measures to prevent infected people from boarding their ships. Carnival Cruise Line has been in communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the World Health Organization about passenger health screenings, monitoring, and ship protocols. Temperature checks and health questionnaires are likely to be part of those screenings on passengers entering from China, but plans haven’t been finalized yet.
Norwegian Cruise Line has introduced non-touch temperature screenings for passengers boarding their ships in China. Those with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit won’t be allowed to board. Those who have lived or traveled through Wuhan in the last 30 days will be turned away, too. Celebrity Cruises has implemented similar policies for sick passengers and those who have been through Wuhan recently.
Though Disney Cruise Line isn’t likely to be affected by the virus since they do not operate ships in China, The Walt Disney Company has closed Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland indefinitely to protect their guests and help curb the spread of the virus. Park tickets and hotel bookings will be refunded.
Travel agencies, hotel groups, airlines, and cruise lines are all feeling the financial hit as the Coronavirus outbreak slows travel to and throughout China. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Corporation, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings stocks all fell as the virus spread.
A report from the Cruise Lines International Association last year found that of the 28.2 million people that took a cruise in 2018, 2.4 million were passengers from China.
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Do you think the screenings in place will be enough to stop infected passengers from boarding ships whose cruises aren't canceled?