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

Safeguards amplified for Kootenay Boundary first responders

” … We have initiated stringent PPE requirements to protect responders from exposures … “

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Trail medical lab makes changes amid pandemic

Rossland and Salmo clinics are not seeing immunocompromised or suspect/symptomatic patients.

Selkirk College gives back during COVID-19 crisis

Staff have been delivering grocery items and medical supplies to those in need during pandemic

Cominco, West Kootenay Power, perpetuated in place names

Place Names: Consolidated Mining and Smelting (CM&S) became Cominco, then Teck-Cominco, then Teck

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read