All cruise ship calls suspended amid coronavirus concerns

  • The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel Pride of America is anchored Wednesday in Kailua Bay. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

All cruise ship visits to Kailua-Kona have been canceled for 30 days, the Cruise Line International Association said Friday afternoon.

“CLIA cruise line members are voluntarily and temporarily suspending operations from the U.S. as we work to address this public health crisis,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO, CLIA. “This is an unprecedented situation. Our industry has taken responsibility for protecting public health for more than 50 years, working under the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and prides itself on its ability to deliver exceptional vacation experiences for guests, as well as meaningful employment opportunities for crew. This has been a challenging time, but we hope that this decision will enable us to focus on the future and a return to normal as soon as possible.”

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The temporary suspension will take effect at 6 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time today.

“We do not take this decision lightly, and we want the traveling public to know in no uncertain terms the commitment of this industry to putting people first,” said Adam Goldstein, CLIA Global Chairman. “During this time, we will continue to work with the CDC and others to prepare for resumption of sailings when it is appropriate. We know the travel industry is a huge economic engine for the United States and when our ships once again sail, our industry will be a significant contributor to fueling the economic recovery.”

Through April 12, Kailua-Kona was slated to have eight vessels visit. Four of the now-off-the-calendar visits were by the Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, two by NCL’s Norwegian Pearl and two by Holland America.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced a voluntary suspension of all cruise voyages embarking between March 13 and April 11 for its three cruise brands.

The temporary suspension is aimed at contributing to efforts around the globe to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This measure is taken in an abundance of caution and the Company has not experienced any confirmed cases of COVID-19 across its 28-ship fleet.

“The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our highest priority. With the COVID-19 coronavirus impacting communities around the globe, we have enacted a voluntary temporary suspension of cruise voyages across our brands effective immediately,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We understand the inconvenience that this disruption may cause our guests and travel partners during these quickly evolving and challenging times, and we appreciate their understanding as we partner with local, state, federal and global agencies to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

Guests on voyages that are underway will conclude and guests will be disembarked as soon as possible and assisted with travel arrangements.

Guests who are currently booked on voyages with embarkation dates from March 13 to April 11, 2020 on Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises or Regent Seven Seas Cruises are asked to contact their travel agent or the cruise line for more information.

Through the end of April, six visits to Kailua-Kona were slated by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America, which travels interisland.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises also announced that it is suspending cruising in the United States for 30 days today.

“We are reaching out to our guests to help them work through this disruption to their vacations, and we are truly sorry for their inconvenience. We are also communicating with our crew to work out the issues this decision presents for them. We know this adds great stress to our guests, employees and crew, and we are working to minimize the disruption,” a press release reads.

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