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Norwegian Reportedly Cancels Spirit’s Asia Sailings Into December Due to Coronavirus

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Norwegian Cruise Line is reportedly canceling all Asia-bound sailings aboard Norwegian Spirit from April 15 through December 7, 2020 “due to growing concerns regarding coronavirus.”

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this causes,” the cruise line said in a message to travel agents and affected passengers. “Please be advised that a full refund will be processed automatically to the form of payment provided at the time of booking.”

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Norwegian also said it will issue future cruise credit worth 10 percent toward a future booking, and the company will cover up to $300 per person for airfare change fees.

Norwegian Spirit is currently in the late stages of a $100 million-plus renovation. The 40-day drydock that began in Marseille, France last month has been extended due to labor strikes, with a preview sailing scheduled to begin from Civitavecchia, Italy on February 14.

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced multiple cruise lines to adjust their schedules, cancel sailings and even ban some guests out of an abundance of caution.

Norwegian updated its travel alert regarding coronavirus procedures on Saturday. “Any guest that holds a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passport, will be unable to board any of our ships, regardless of residency,” the cruise line stated in one of several new policies.

“At this time, we have made a number of itinerary changes and none of our vessels are currently calling to ports in mainland China. We also have the flexibility to alter our itineraries as needed to avoid areas of concern,” Norwegian said, noting that it’s consulting with The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “All itineraries that call in mainland China for the next six months are currently under review and we will communicate any itinerary revisions as soon as possible. As always, we will closely monitor the situation and take appropriate action as necessary.”

Travelers are encouraged to contact their travel advisor or visit NCL.com for more information.

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Cruises

Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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