Several Cruise Lines Hit By Coronavirus Weeks After Restart

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen

Despite enhanced coronavirus health protocols, just weeks after taking to the waters, two ocean-going ships and one river ship have announced COVID-19 infections on-board. 

After months of stalled operations due to the pandemic, the outbreaks signal new hurdles for the already-battered cruise industry.

Covid-19 was detected on ships operated by Hurtigruten, Paul Gauguin and AIDA Cruises. 

At least 40 passengers and crew onboard Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen tested positive for the coronavirus, according to TheGuardian. Authorities are now trying to contact trace hundreds of passengers from two recent Arctic voyages the ship took.

Four crew members on Roald Amundsen were hospitalized with the respiratory illness Friday when the ship arrived at the Norwegian port of Tromsø. Tests showed another 32 of the 158 staff were also infected.

But 178 passengers were allowed to leave the ship in Tromsø, triggering a complex operation to locate them in order to contain potential spread.

So far, four of the 387 passengers who travelled on the ship on two separate cruises since 17JUL have been found to carry the virus, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Tromsoe municipality said.

Back in June, Hurtigruten became the first ocean-going cruise to sail since the coronavirus outbreak shut down the industry worldwide, when its ship Finnmarken set off on a 34-port journey from Bergen along the Norwegian coast to Kirkenes. 

In the Pacific, passengers aboard the Paul Gauguin have been told to stay in their cabins after Covid-19 was detected on board by the ship’s doctor. 

The Paul Gauguin was sailing between Bora Bora and the Rangiroa islands, when a positive case was detected in a crew member. The ship immediately turned around to head back to its home port.

Infectious disease specialists will now test everyone on board.

The Paul Gauguin resumed sailing on 18JUL for local residents, and on 29JUL for international guests. 

Last week, 10 crew members on AIDA Cruises' AIDAblu and AIDAmar tested positive for COVID-19 after boarding in Rostok, Germany, on 22JUL, USAToday reports.

The infected crew members were taken off the two ships, and the remaining crew members were secluded on board waiting for another round of test results, Roger Frizzell, spokesperson for Carnival Corp., parent to AIDA Cruises, told USAToday.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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