Passengers aboard the Grand Princess celebrate as they arrive in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, March 9. The cruise ship, which had maintained a holding pattern off the coast for days, is carrying multiple people who tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Princess Cruises, Viking Cruises pause global operations due to COVID-19

Cruise line implements 60-day pause in wake of COVID-19 virus

Two major cruise lines have cancelled operations worldwide due to COVID-19.

Princess Cruises announced a 60-day pause to global ship operations on Thursday, while Viking Cruises have suspended routes till May 1.

The international cruise line says the decision is a voluntary and proactive response “to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19.”

Princess Cruises operates 18 ships and serves more than 50,000 guests daily. Operations will be paused from March 12 to May 10.

READ ALSO: Cruise lines bring in ‘stringent’ measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission amid outbreaks

“It is widely known that we have been managing the implications of COVID-19 on two continents,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world.”

Four Princess Cruises ships were scheduled to arrive in Victoria during that time period, the first on April 3. The company plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11. Barring changes, the first scheduled arrival from Princess Cruise Lines will be May 11 from Ketchikan.

The temporary operations ban comes after 15 people tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Grand Princess off the California coast. Passengers, including 228 Canadians, have been placed in a 14-day quarantine at CFB Trenton in Quinte West, Ont. The Grand Princess was supposed to be in Victoria on April 3, after docking in Vancouver on April 2.

With Princess Cruises cancelled, the first port-of-call for Victoria is April 10, when the Holland America Line’s Eurodam is scheduled to arrive from Vancouver. As of Thursday, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority had not cancelled the arrival of any scheduled cruise ships.

In a statement Monday afternoon, the Port of Vancouver said it was “actively monitoring” the Canadian and global responses to COVID-19 but deferred further comment to the feds.

The cruise ship industry has implemented stringent measures to prevent the spread of the global virus, including enhanced screening protocols and denying entry to passengers and crews who had travelled to specific destinations.

READ ALSO: 228 Canadians from cruise ship Grand Princess begin quarantine at CFB Trenton

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy Secondary School’s 2019-2020 wrestling season

Both Lamothe and Speck thanked Cleary for volunteering his time to sponsor the program.

First government licensed cannabis shop on Vancouver Island celebrates one year in business

‘I’m really happy we’re here giving the public what they want’

Fire Chefs give back to community with one free meal a day to those who are in need

Fire Chefs will offer one free meal from 3:30 until 4:30 on the days they are open to those in need.

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Most Read