As the world continues to respond to the worsening coronavirus outbreak, the cruise industry has been one of the hardest industries hit. Health authorities have been warning for years that cruise ships, under the wrong circumstances, can act as a virtual petri dish for the spread of disease. Coronavirus is proving this to be true.
In the wake of mounting pressure, two major cruise companies announced today that they would be suspending cruising for several months.
Passengers aboard two Princess cruises were among the populations hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. In February, authorities quarantined the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan. The number of passengers who tested positive for the virus multiplied from 10 and ultimately peaked over 700. 7 of those passengers reportedly died from the virus.
After authorities evacuated the passengers from the Diamond Princess another Princess cruise ship, the Grand Princess, reported that its passengers may have been exposed to the virus. After investigating the reports, officials stopped the Grand Princess off the coast of California when it arrived back from a voyage. Ultimately, 19 passengers and two crew members from the Grand Princess tested positive for coronavirus.
Princess announced that it will halt operations and cancel all cruises for its 18 ships for the next two months.
Viking announced that it will suspend operations of all ocean and river cruise ships until May 1.