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Cruise Lines voluntary suspend operations to address COVID-19

BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Four cruising giants said Friday they were temporarily suspending sailings as governments and businesses continue to enact tough measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC Cruises and the Norwegian Cruise Line announced they were halting trips through April.

Royal Caribbean said it will suspend cruises in the United States for 30 days.

“Cruises that depart U.S. ports before midnight tonight and international cruises will operate their scheduled itineraries,” the statement reads. “U.S. ships already at sea will finish their itineraries as planned.”

The cruise line said it was reaching out to guests and crew members impacted by the decision. It did not provide information on possible refunds. Around 114 trips on 26 ships will be impacted.

MSC Cruises canceled its sailings in the U.S. until April 30. Carnival’s Costa Cruises will return to service between April 3 and May 3 and its Aida cruise line said it was halting trips through April 10, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“The cruises currently taking place will now call at ports to allow guests to disembark and return to their homes,” a Carnival spokesman told the newspaper.

Miami-based Norwegian said it will suspend cruises between Friday and April 11 for its three brands: Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The announcements come a day after Princess Cruises said it will suspend sailings for 60 days following coronavirus outbreaks on two of its ships — the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess.

Norwegian said it has not experienced any confirmed coronavirus cases across its 28-ship fleet but made the decision out of an abundance of caution.



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