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Ruby Princess Reportedly Carrying Over 200 Sick Crew Members



At least 300 cases of coronavirus have been linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which is currently docked off the coast of Sydney, Australia. Over 200 of the ship’s 1,000 crew members have reportedly fallen ill and are currently self-isolating aboard the ship.

New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health authorities and an independent health care team boarded Ruby Princess on Thursday to assess the health of the crew. A 66-year-old man was evacuated from the ship, joining six other crew members who have already been hospitalized. It has not been confirmed if these patients have tested positive for coronavirus.

[Read More: Cruise News]

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Ruby Princess’s 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark prior to medical officials boarding the ship. About a dozen passengers had reported feeling unwell and were tested for COVID-19. According to Fox News, other passengers were not made aware of this before departing from the ship unscreened.

The situation has been considered “Australia’s worst coronavirus outbreak” by the country’s local media outlets and residents.

There are currently eight cruise ships lingering off the coast of New South Wales, despite Australian officials denying them port. The ships are carrying nearly 9,000 passengers and crew between them.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller shared a statement on Thursday, concerned that “bringing 9,000 people off the cruise ships” could “overload” local health care systems,

“We know around the world that when the hospital systems become overwhelmed, then lots and lots of people die,” Fuller said.

Fuller added that further updates on the cruise ships will be made on Friday.

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European Waterways Barge Cruises Are Ideal for Family Vacations



European Waterways offers the perfect solution to socially distant family travel in Europe.

As the coronavirus pandemic begins to wane and countries begin to reopen their borders to international travelers, families are expected to look to travel to reconnect with one another, and European Waterways is ready for the surge, offering the ideal opportunity for families to explore on private, chartered river barges.

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Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, says that he is already observing increasing interest.

This isn’t surprising seeing as how these vessels offer ideal accommodations for families, with room for anywhere between six and 20 passengers. Guests can cruise Europe’s canals and smaller waterways as well as the less-populated countryside.

“Cruising with European Waterways has always been about taking ‘the path less traveled,’ so much of our outdoor activities already take our guests away from crowded tourist attractions to the more exclusive, less populated settings,” said Banks. “Until travel returns to normal, we are further committed to providing a safe and healthy onboard environment for our guests, with pre-cruise checks for all on-board and the implementation of more stringent cleaning procedures, among other policies.”

Social distancing will likely be the norm for a while in Europe and around the world, and these barges offer the chance to enjoy scenery while still remaining safe.

For the most part, meals are served on board by the master chef and cruises feature exclusive private tours of castles, aristocratic estates and vineyards, plus other excursions, tailored to avoid the crowds.

L’Art de Vivre is the ideal barge for a family vacation. The eight-passenger vessel once carried supplies during World War One. Now, the boat has been completely modernized and cruises the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy, France.

Family-friendly excursions include a visit to the Caves of Arcy-sur-Cure, which features some of the oldest cave paintings in the world, a medieval castle under construction using traditional methods at the Chateau Guedelon; the age of the dinosaurs in Cardo Land; and the fun and wildly eclectic artwork on display at the Fabuloserie Art and Sculpture Museum.

Family charters can also incorporate activities such as tennis, ice-skating and mini-golf as well as kayaking, quad biking and horseback riding.

European Waterways’ Family Charters are available throughout France, the U.K., Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

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