Two days after halting all inbound airline traffic to the United States for 30 days, President Trump on Friday announced that four major cruise lines will suspend outbound trips for 30 days in another effort to slow the rapid growth of the coronavirus.
“At my request, effective midnight tonight (Friday, March 13), Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days. It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!” Trump tweeted on Friday night.
Though there was some discrepancy about Trump’s claim of taking credit – Norwegian and Royal Caribbean had already announced their own voluntary suspensions, respectively – it was a much-needed decision on the part of the industry. Cruise lines had been somewhat slow to react to the global pandemic even when thousands were quarantined on two separate Princess Cruise Line ships with hundreds having contracted the virus.
Princess and Viking also suspended trips earlier this week – Princess saying it will be off the water for 60 days – and Seabourn joined them on Friday when it announced it will voluntarily pause global operations of its five cruise ships for 30 days, starting March 14, due “to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution.
“In this unprecedented situation, we feel a pause is necessary,” Rick Meadows, President of Seabourn, said in a statement. “Through this action, it is our absolute intention to convey to our guests and the travel advisor community that we have the health and safety of all who travel with us as a top priority. Our pause should also reassure the hundreds of destinations we visit each year that we want to be responsible in our operations as we bring travelers into their communities each time we visit.”
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