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U River Cruises Moves 2020 Inaugural Cruises to May



U River Cruises has pushed back its inaugural 2020 cruise dates, canceling its April sailings.

According to the cruise line, this shift will better align with the desires of its customers.

“With strong demand skewing towards the summer and fall seasons, we’ve decided to update U’s 2020 inaugural departure date to early May, which will feature the brand’s previously announced new itineraries and programming,” U River Cruises said in an emailed statement.

The inaugural sailing for the B, which is being reintroduced to the fleet, will be May 1. The A will set sail for its first 2020 river cruise on May 15, 2020.

U River Cruises will sail three new itineraries during its 2020 season.

Vienna Vibe sails between Nuremberg and Vienna, stopping in Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Melk and Krems over eight days.

Eastern Europe Escapes sails between Vienna and Belgrade and includes stops in Bratislava, Budapest, Mohacs and Novi Sad.

Amsterdam & Brussels Bound is the B’s new eight-day itinerary, calling in Rotterdam, Middelburg, Ghent and Antwerp.

Contact a travel advisor to learn more.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



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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