Cruise Ship Welcome: Bottles & Stones Pelt Bus Over Virus Fears

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Cruise passengers are often welcomed ashore at port destinations with music, cool drinks and big smiles.

That usual warm welcome was in short supply for passengers of the Sun Princess when they disembarked on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.

A bus carrying cruisers from the ship was pelted with bottles and stones from protestors fearful of an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Dozens of protestors were trying desperately to stop the cruisers reaching the mainland over coronavirus fears.

Although the Sun Princess is a sister ship to the infamous Diamond Princess, no cases of coronavirus have been reported.

The protestors were angered by the government refusing to take temperature readings for the visiting tourists and tried to block the port gates. Police responded with volleys of tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Reunion Island has not reported any cases of coronavirus so far.

"Of course we are not against the arrival of tourists in Reunion, they are necessary for the development of our economy," protestor Yannis Latchimy told local media. "We just want to be sure that there is no risk of the spread of the coronavirus." 

Chasing tourists off the island with bottles and stones is one way to lower the risk, we suppose, but will also be very effective in reducing any ‘risk’ of those passengers seeking a return visit.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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