The cruise industry has been rocked by the outbreak of coronavirus (covid-19), and while most major lines have suspended sailings some ships are still currently in action.
The latest ship to be affected by the pandemic is NCL’s Norwegian Jewel, which is currently stranded in the South Pacific.
According to reports, the cruise ship was denied entry to four countries in the region, with 2,000 passengers on board the vessel.
Despite no one displaying symptoms of covid-19, the ship was turned away by French Polynesia, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.
As of 17 March, the ship managed to refuel in American Samoa before heading to Hawaii, where passengers are set to disembark.
Speaking to The Independent, a spokesperson for NCL said: “Due to the port closure in Fiji, we have been forced to modify Norwegian Jewel’s disembarkation plans.
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“The ship is currently heading to Honolulu, Hawaii, where she will disembark. We continue to communicate with guests regularly and will provide them with the estimated arrival time and further details as they become available.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience they have experienced as a result of these unforeseen circumstances and greatly appreciate their patience and understanding.”
Norwegian Jewel was just one of the vessels still in action when NCL’s suspension began on 13 March, with the cruise line revealing:
“Norwegian Jewel’s 23-day Australia and French Polynesia itinerary was modified to disembark in Auckland, New Zealand on March 20, 2020.
“Due to multiple port closures in the area, further modifications were made, and the ship is now expected to disembark in Honolulu on March 22, 2020.
“Please know that we have been communicating with guests regularly and updating them as we have further information. We greatly appreciate their patience and understanding during this evolving situation.”
Currently on their way to Hawaii, passengers on the ship have been taking to Twitter to share what life is like onboard.
One passenger shared an image of an ice-cold beer and snacks with the comment: “Happy! #socialdistancing”, while another shared a heartwarming video of couples dancing onboard the ship.
As of 21 March, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings temporarily suspended all sailings across its three cruise lines, NCL, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Other cruise ships currently in limbo include luxury operator Silversea’s Silver Shadow, which is currently under quarantine in the Brazilian port of Recife.
The quarantine was imposed last Thursday (12 March) after a 78-year-old passenger developed coronavirus symptoms, later testing positive.
Six hundred passengers remain on board Silver Shadow, and are being treated to the same level of luxury for which Silversea is known during the quarantine period.
For an up-to-date list of all cruise lines who’ve suspended sailings, and what to do if your cruise is affected, read our guide to re-booking and cancelling your cruise.
For the latest advice on coronavirus, visit gov.uk.
The cruise industry is facing an unprecedented and ever-changing situation and we are committed to keeping you informed with the most up-to-date news as we receive it from the sector. However, we firmly believe that the cruise industry will bounce back. When it does, we’ll be on hand to inspire with destination inspiration and exciting cruise itineraries for the years to come.