Cruise Line Suspends Sailing After COVID-19 Outbreak - COVID-19 Clinical Trial
General Information | COVID-19

Cruise Line Suspends Sailing After COVID-19 Outbreak

Explore
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Cruise ships around the world were forced to postpone all travel when the coronavirus pandemic emerged in early 2020. However, desperate to recover what revenue remained in the calendar year, some international cruise lines chose to gradually reopen this summer using carefully predefined COVID-19 protocols. 

    In early August, a Norwegian cruise ship operated by the firm Hurtigruten, reported a major outbreak on one of its ships, the MS Roald Amundsen.  

    Now Hurtigruten has halted all leisure cruises and faces a reckoning as it determines how so many passengers contracted COVID-19. 

    More Than 40 Passengers Test Positive 

    The MS Roald Amundsen began a week-long voyage to Svalbard in the Arctic, with other ports planned in England and Scotland in September. Crew members, which included citizens from Germany, France, and the Philippines, were tested for COVID-19 before leaving their home countries, but did not quarantine before starting work on the ship. 

    A total of four crew members were admitted to the hospital with coronavirus symptoms soon after the ship docked in the Arctic port of Tromso. All four tested positive for COVID-19 infection. After more comprehensive testing, 32 additional crew members on board were found to be infected.  

    However, nearly 180 passengers had been allowed to depart the ship before the outbreak was identified, forcing authorities into a chaotic scramble to locate and test those who had been onboard. At least five passengers tested positive, and all have been contacted and instructed to self-isolate for 10 days.  

    Health officials fully expect more positive cases to emerge, and they are prepared to perform the contact tracing necessary to minimize the impacts of the outbreak. 

    Hurtigruten Responds 

    Though Hurtigruten is not the first cruise line to attempt to resume cruise travel amid the pandemic, it’s one of the first to publicly announce a post-lockdown outbreak on board one of its ships. 

    “This is a serious situation for everyone involved. We have not been good enough and we have made mistakes,” Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement. 

    “A preliminary evaluation shows a breakdown in several of our internal procedures,” he added. “The only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings.” 

    Norway’s government also responded with a 14-day ban of the disembarkation of any cruise ship with more than 100 people on board. 

    Now What? 

    The outbreak on the MS Roald Amundsen could have happened to any ship- and still may. It’s the latest blow to an industry pummeled by the pandemic.  

    On July 16, the CDC extended the No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation that was originally enacted on April 9, 2020. The Order is in effect until September 30, or until the CDC Director and Secretary of Health and Human Services declare that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency.  

    Many cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean planned to resume cruises in August, but had to cancel those plans when the No Sail Order was extended on July 16.  

    Whenever cruises do resume- which may not be until 2021- major cruise lines like Carnival plan to use enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings, extensive health checks, and aggressive safety measures to keep all guests safe. Yet it’s all one large experiment as the pandemic continues to carve an unpredictable path through life as we once knew it. 

    Sources 

    Share this:
    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    Share on reddit
    Reddit
    Share on email
    Email
    Scroll to Top

    Your choice regarding cookies on this site

    We use cookies to optimize site functionality and give you the best experience. Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.

    For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

    By continuing to access this website you are giving us consent to collect cookies.

    Want to stay informed?

    With an ever-changing situation like COVID-19, it’s important to stay as tuned in as possible. Submit your information below so we can send you periodic updates.