Cruise ships say no change in sailing plans after new COVID-19 cases


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas cruise ship docks at Marina Bay Cruise Center after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while cruising to nowhere in Singapore on December 9, 2020. REUTERS / Edgar Su // File Photo


By Praveen Paramasivam and Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) -Royal Caribbean Group and Carnival (NYSE 🙂 Corp will be pushing the return to cruising this summer, despite two guests being on board a test run for royal caribbean (NYSE 🙂 The Celebrity Millennium ship tested positive for COVID-19.

A year after several cruise lines hosted major coronavirus outbreaks and large numbers of Americans are now vaccinated, cruise lines are scrambling to get the business off the ground.

Shares of Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE 🙂 Holdings Ltd, all of which saw massive losses over the past year as restrictions stalled the industry, fell between 1% and 2% in response to positive tests .

At the request of Reuters on Friday, Royal Caribbean declined to provide further details about the guests who tested positive or the circumstances of their infection.

Celebrity Cruises later said it was worth flying both guests home privately on Saturday and disembarking the remaining passengers on time after the test.

A source close to Carnival who refused to be named said the company was also pushing its summer cruises as planned.

The Celebrity Millennium Cruise is slated to end on the island of St. Maarten on Saturday.

All guests on board had to present proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test from St. Maarten a week ago.

The operator, one of the first in North America to resume operations on a trial basis, said Thursday the people were asymptomatic, isolated and monitored by medical professionals. Celebrity also ran contact tracing and expedited testing on all close contacts, she added.

Cruise industry blogger Ashley Kosciolek wrote on her live blog that she was told on Thursday evening that the infected passenger had been on their shore excursion in Barbados two days earlier. She was asked to stay in her room for about four hours until her results were negative.

Kosciolek’s contributions indicated that the cruise had also stopped in Aruba and Curacao.

Cruise lines are in talks with Florida over some voyages from after the state governor urged people to show evidence of a vaccine. The voyages are scheduled to begin in June and early July and sail to the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska.

Cruise expert Stewart Chiron, who is on board the Celebrity Millennium ship, told Reuters that life on board went as planned on Thursday night with dinner, shows and evening entertainment. He said nobody on board wore masks.

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