Cruise ships continue to report COVID-19 cases

Genting’s World Dream arrives in Singapore in November 2020 to resume cruising (Dream Cruises)

Posted on Jul 14, 2021 6:51 PM by

The maritime executive

The cruise industry, like many places around the world, continues to work to control the coronavirus in order to resume normal lifestyles. While improved cruise ship protocols may have prevented the massive outbreaks that made headlines in the spring of 2020, several cruise ships in recent days have cut short trips or delayed operations, all due to continuous reports of virus cases.

The most recent scare came in Singapore, where Genting’s Dream Cruises is shipping the Dream of the world was nearing the end of a 3-day cruise to nowhere with the residents of the city-state. The cruise ship departed on Sunday July 11 and all passengers tested negative before boarding with an antigen test. However, late Tuesday, a 40-year-old passenger was identified as a suspected case, and the Singapore Tourism Board reported that the passenger was in close contact with a known case ashore. The passenger tested positive on the cruise ship and was placed in isolation with three close contacts on the ship.

Under protocols established by the Singapore Tourism Board and Dream Cruises, the 1,646 cruise passengers were notified at 1 a.m. on Wednesday July 14 and asked to remain in their cabins while all services and activities were suspended. on board the ship. Meals were delivered to the exterior cabin doors and non-essential crew members in the 1,249 onboard were also invited to stay in their cabins. the Dream of the world completed the cruise on the way back to Singapore.

After confirming at a Singapore hospital that the passenger tested positive for the virus, passengers were to undergo disembarkation tests. Passengers began to leave the ship on Wednesday evening and Dream Cruises announced that the next cruise would be canceled. The cruise line said it was the first positive case aboard the Dream of the world, which has made more than 100 cruises and carried more than 130,000 passengers since it started from Singapore.

the Dream of the world was cleared to begin short cruises from Singapore for residents in November 2020. The ship continued to sail in the spring despite increasing restrictions by Singapore to coincide with an increase in the virus in the city. Meal service had been limited to take-out or prepackaged meals, while activities were also restricted and capacity levels reduced. In mid-June, Singapore eased restrictions allowing the cruise ship to travel again with up to 50% capacity, resume meal service and activities.

Last week in Alaska, the small cruise ship the American constellation also reported a positive COVID-19 test. All passengers must be vaccinated before joining the cruise, but on July 9, the cruise line reported that a passenger had tested positive and was sent ashore to a medical facility in Petersburg, Alaska. An additional passenger, also vaccinated, as well as a crew member, not vaccinated, also tested positive. The cruise ship had 162 passengers and 52 crew on board last week, according to a statement from the city and borough of Juneau.

“American Cruise Lines has implemented its COVID-19 response plan and is coordinating with national and local health authorities following the detection of COVID-19 on board,” the cruise line said in its statement. “As a precaution, the small ship of the line returned to the port of Juneau on Saturday and the next cruise, scheduled to depart on July 14, will be canceled.” The crew remained on the ship and the cruise company plans to resume navigation with the next cruise normally scheduled for the end of July.

In a third case, last week, Royal Caribbean International removed two passengers from its ship on Freedom of the seas after one of the passengers, a 57-year-old woman who is not vaccinated but says she had the virus months ago, tested positive on the second day of her cruise. Royal Caribbean has returned the passengers to the United States, but they claim they were wrongly fired from the ship by a false test.

In addition to passengers, cruise lines also continue to face cases of viruses among the crew. British cruise line Cunard canceled the first five cruises scheduled for its ship on queen elizabeth after an unknown number of crews tested positive for COVID-19. The cruise ship was to make short cruises for UK residents as part of its return to service. Last month, Royal Caribbean International was also forced to delay the entry of its cruise ship on Odyssey of the seas on duty from Florida after several crew members tested positive for the virus shortly after being vaccinated and before immunity was achieved.

These latest cases of the virus on cruise ships come as the cruise industry prepares to expand its resumption of service. Cruises have recently resumed from Germany and additional ships are expected to resume navigation in Europe and the United States. Short cruises from Hong Kong are also expected to start under a similar arrangement to Singapore. Cruise industry protocols, however, will continue to be tested as new variants spread to countries around the world.