Princess Cruises suspends operations amid coronavirus outbreak

It will impact operations of voyages departing March 12 to May 10

Princess Cruises announced on Thursday it was voluntarily suspending the global operations of its 18-ship fleet for two months due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

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The cruise line operates two ships that had outbreaks of coronavirus, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. The pause in operations will impact voyages departing March 12 to May 10, the company said.

"While this is a difficult business decision, we firmly believe it is the right one and is in alignment with our company’s core values," Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said in a statement.

Shares of Carnival, which owns Princess Cruises, were down 20 percent in premarket trading.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CCLCARNIVAL CORP.8.49+0.52+6.52%

Also, Viking Cruises is suspending all its river and ocean voyages until May 1 in wake of the outbreak of the outbreak.

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The company announced its decision on Wednesday in an open letter written by Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen.

(Viking)

“I am writing today because the situation has now become such that operating as a travel company involves significant risks of quarantines or medical detentions, which could diminish the travel experiences for which our guests have been planning,” Hagen’s letter reads.

He also cited travel obstacles that have resulted from the 127,000-plus confirmed infections across the globe, which ultimately impacts Viking’s customer experience.

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“An increasing number of ports, including Venice, Monte Carlo and Bergen, have temporarily closed to cruise ships; major attractions such as the Vatican and other museums have been closed; and some countries are imposing restrictions on public gatherings and visitors,” Hagen wrote.

Additionally, Hagen highlighted one instance where a recent river cruise guest in Southeast Asia was exposed to the coronavirus while in transit on an international airline. The guest in question has been quarantined along with 28 other guests, despite not showing symptoms.

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Viking’s cruise suspension goes into effect Thursday.

Customers who booked cruises that were scheduled between mid-March and late-April can either request a refund or a Future Cruise Voucher of 125 percent of all monies paid to Viking.

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The company also urges customers who booked through a travel agent to make their modifications by March 25.