Cruise lines are immediately stopping travel to China as Coronavirus rages on, having already killed 81 people across the nation. The virus has since surpassed its borders, seeping into 12 other countries worldwide.
Earlier in the week, a number of cruise lines cancelled upcoming trips in the region in a bid to slow the spread of disease and protect passengers.
Now, even more cruise lines have announced they will no longer be embarking on planned journeys which could have a heightened risk of coming into contact with the virus.
Earlier today MSC Cruises, Costa Crociere, Royal Caribbean and Genting Cruise Lines announced they would be suspending journeys that would be spanning mainland China.
Following suit, APT, Cunard, Dream Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Uniworld and Viking Cruises have put in place preventative measures.
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At present APT has no Chinese sailings, though it does plan to launch a number of cruises which will pass through the country in March. The cruise line has assured it is monitoring the situation and will take further action for these cruises if it is deemed necessary.
APT’s Paul Melinis, managing director for UK & Europe, said: “No APT tours and river cruises pass through Wutan, with our China itineraries starting at the end of March. In the meantime, we are monitoring the situation closely through government travel advisories, the World Health Organisation and our contacts within China. The safety of our guests and staff is always our top priority. We expect to continue operating all our river cruise and tours to China as planned.”
Similarly, Cunard has not yet made any logistical changes for cruises expected to travel in the area, however, will do so if there is a risk of danger to its passengers.
According to Cruise Critic, a spokesperson said: “We are working with and taking advice from the relevant authorities regarding the evolving situation with coronavirus.
“Should it be necessary to amend any ports of call in China for [Queen Mary 2] and [Queen Elizabeth] we will do so and advise guests as soon as possible. “We will also advise of any associated logistical changes, for example, flights, hotels or tours.”
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Dream Cruise Line
Dream Cruise Line, operated by Genting, cancelled a turnaround call on Guangzhou for World Dream but is continuing to operate from Hong Kong.
The cruise operator is offering the option to cancel impending cruise dates with full refunds for concerned passengers.
A statement from the cruise line reads: “In view of the recent outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Dream Cruises has been working closely with the China authorities in implementing various precautionary measures, and as part of our continuous initiative, kindly be advised that Dream Cruises will be not be calling into Guangzhou (Nansha) on 31 January and 6 February 2020.
“However, please note the arrival, boarding and departure arrangements in Hong Kong on the same day will remain as scheduled.
“Guests originally scheduled to embark from Guangzhou (Nansha) on 31 January and 6 February 2020 will have the option to change their cruise date or cancel their cruise with a full refund (paid cruise fare, port charges and Dream Cruises shore excursion).
“Please contact the original booking source for the necessary arrangements and on behalf of Dream Cruises, we apologise for any inconvenience caused and we thank you in advance for your kind understanding and support in light of these unforeseen circumstances.”