Princess Cruises suspends voyages for 60 days over coronavirus

Agence France-Presse
Princess Cruises suspends voyages for 60 days over coronavirus

AFP

Princess Cruises, operator of the coronavirus-hit ships Diamond Princess and Grand Princess, will pause global operations of its 18 vessels

NEW YORK, USA – United States cruise line Princess Cruises announced on Thursday, March 12, it was suspending voyages worldwide for 60 days in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Princess Cruises announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months,” the company said in a statement.

The announcement is the latest disruption to business from the outbreak, which has already led to numerous event cancelations and hammered global markets, sending Wall Street plunging.

Princess, owned by travel colossus Carnival Corporation, has seen two of its vessels hit by the virus and quarantined: the Diamond Princess, which docked in Japan, and the Grand Princess, which docked in California.

“Princess Cruises is a global vacation company that serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries as part of our diverse business, and it is widely known that we have been managing the implications of COVID-19 on two continents,” Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said.

The announcement will hit vessels set to sail between March 12 and May 10. People on a cruise that will end within the next 5 days will continue as normal, while voyages that are ongoing as of March 17 will end early “at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements,” the statement said.

“Princess will do everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible. During this time, our operations and medical teams across the fleet will remain vigilant in their care and service for guests and crew onboard.”

Travel companies have been particularly hard-hit by the outbreak as countries have shut their borders and airlines have canceled flights– Rappler.com

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