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Travel Cruise industry gives Asia a wide berth as it seeks to limit coronavirus risks

15:15  14 february  2020
15:15  14 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Cruise companies MSC and Costa cancel departures from Chinese ports

  Cruise companies MSC and Costa cancel departures from Chinese ports Cruise operators MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises said on Thursday that they had cancelled departures from Chinese ports because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. MSC said in a statement that no case of infection among passengers or crew had been reported on any Asian winter cruises. The decision to move the departure point from Shanghai to Singapore had been taken for the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew, it said.Costa, meanwhile suspended nine trips from China that had been scheduled between now and February 4, saying the measure was "temporary".

Asia accounts for just some 10% of the global cruise industry , according to the Cruise Lines International Association. But the fear is that the "While the early impact due to concerns about the coronavirus is mainly related to Asia , recent bookings for our broader business have also been

Vast cruise ships, looming over St Mark’s Square like Leviathans of the lagoon, have long been an unwelcome feature of the Venetian skyline. Longer term, Mr Toninelli said the cruise ships would be found new berths at a terminal agreed by public consultation.

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The plight of the cruise ship off Japan with more than 200 coronavirus infections and the shunning of another by five ports despite no known cases has led to a sharp change in tack for an industry in shock: avoid Asia.

a large ship in the background: FILE PHOTO: The cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, is seen through steel fence at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama© Reuters/Issei Kato FILE PHOTO: The cruise ship Diamond Princess, where dozens of passengers were tested positive for coronavirus, is seen through steel fence at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama

To that end, many cruises in the region are being canceled while others currently sailing are being re-routed, skipping originally scheduled stops in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

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What is coronavirus ? According to the WHO, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, the image of the virus looks like a solar corona.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd on Thursday canceled 18 cruises in Southeast Asia after calling off eight trips to China last week. It joined industry leader Carnival Corp in warning that full-year earnings would be hit by the epidemic.

"It is important that every organization acts responsibly, and we have already taken aggressive steps to minimize risk through boarding restrictions and itinerary changes," CEO Richard Fain said in a statement.

The flu-like virus has so far claimed 1,380 lives with the total number of infections at more than 63,000, most of them in China.

Asia accounts for just some 10% of the global cruise industry, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

But the fear is that the negative headlines generated by the predicament of the Diamond Princess ship off Japan - the location of the most new coronavirus infections outside China - as well as by the two-week shunning of the MS Westerdam will spill over to the entire industry.

St. Lucia turns away cruise ship due to coronavirus concerns

  St. Lucia turns away cruise ship due to coronavirus concerns A cruise ship was turned away by Caribbean island St. Lucia this weekend over coronavirus concerns. On Saturday, the AIDA Cruises ship AIDAperla was not allowed to dock at the port of Castries, the nation’s capital, “due to some guests with upper respiratory tract infections on board,” a spokesperson for AIDA cruises told Fox News.AIDA claims the ship was not granted clearance by officials on the island out of an “abundance of caution,” but noted that “at no time were any cases of coronavirus suspected” by St. Lucia health officials.

What is the coronavirus , and what does it do? A coronavirus is a family of viruses which include the common cold. They say self-sustaining human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus is the "only plausible explanation" for the scale of the epidemic.

For the cruise industry , the coronavirus is a public-relations nightmare. They turned out not to have the coronavirus . The cruise lines have faced crises before, from their ongoing battles Cruises tend to be expensive, with an average nine-day sailing in Asia running about ,800, travel advisors said

"While the early impact due to concerns about the coronavirus is mainly related to Asia, recent bookings for our broader business have also been softer," Royal Caribbean said in its statement.

The Cruise Lines International Association said it was confident in its members' "resilience and ability to overcome current challenges over the long-term".

RESCHEDULED STOPS

Ships re-routing include the Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2, owned by Carnival, which has canceled a stop in Singapore scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, and is sailing straight to Fremantle, Australia.

Another Cunard ship, the Queen Elizabeth, called off stops in Hong Kong and Shanghai through April 4. Its revised itinerary has yet to be announced.

Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival have introduced enhanced safety measures, denying permission to board to planned guests who have been through mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau in the preceding two weeks and initiating mandatory health screenings of other guests who may be at risk due to their travel history.

US honeymooners are stuck on coronavirus cruise ship — and they don't know when they'll get to leave

  US honeymooners are stuck on coronavirus cruise ship — and they don't know when they'll get to leave When US newlyweds Milena Basso and Gaetano Cerullo set out for their honeymoon, it should have been the trip of a lifetime. But due to the coronavirus outbreak, they now find themselves quarantined on a cruise ship for at least two weeks.But as the Wuhan coronavirus spread around the world, sickening more than 28,000 people and killing more than 560, the couple have found themselves quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan for at least two weeks.

Cruise industry gives Asia a wide berth as it seeks to limit coronavirus risks . Reuters. Japan's exports, machinery orders seen falling as virus risks grow: Reuters poll.

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The Norwegian Spirit liner will no longer conclude its March cruise in Singapore but will end in Greece, and its Asia itineraries from April through Dec. 2020 have also been canceled, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said.

Similarly, P&O Cruises' Arcadia liner has removed stops in Shanghai and Hong Kong in March, although it has yet to announce alternative ports.

Fears about the impact of the outbreak have driven sharp slides in the shares of the industry's top three liners, which together had some $34 billion in revenue in 2018.

Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean have seen their shares lose about 15% for the year to date, while Norwegian Cruise Line has fallen 8.5%.

The MS Westerdam was finally allowed to dock in Cambodia on Thursday and passengers began disembarking on Friday.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, also owned by Carnival and which has been quarantined since it arrived in Yokohama on Feb. 3, now has 218 cases among its 3,500 passengers and crew.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Writing by Kay Johnson and Edwina Gibbs)

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A second cruise ship has been quarantined over coronavirus scare

  A second cruise ship has been quarantined over coronavirus scare The Diamond Princess, quarantined in a Hong Kong port, was carrying three passengers who tested positive for the virus.The World Dream's operator, Genting Cruise Lines, said mainland officials notified the company of three passengers who contracted the Wuhan virus, all of whom were onboard between January 19 and January 24. The shop is being held in Hong Kong's Kai Tak cruise terminal.

Another 66 passengers onboard a luxury cruise liner quarantined in Japan have tested positive for coronavirus , bringing the Japanese health authorities initially tested 273 at- risk passengers Everyone onboard has been given a thermometer and asked to regularly monitor their temperatures.

A coronavirus is one of a number of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the viruses cause respiratory infections, including the common cold, which are typically mild

Passengers on Quarantined Cruise Ship in Hong Kong Cleared to Disembark .
The ship had been quarantined since it arrived last week.According to BBC.com, the World Dream cruise ship arrived last week at a port near Kai Tak when several crew members reported feeling ill. As a result, health officials in Hong Kong quarantined the ship until tests were completed on all 1,800 crew members.

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