Royal Caribbean is halting new cruises for the next 30 days in the US amid coronavirus threat

  • Amid the coronavirus pandemic, cruise holding company Royal Caribbean announced Friday afternoon that it would suspend new cruises disembarking from the US for the next 30 days.
  • Cruises that have already disembarked, or will disembark before midnight on Friday, will continue.
  • International cruises are also not affected.
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the mega-cruise corporation Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is voluntarily suspending cruises in the United States for the next 30 days, starting March 13 at midnight.

This will affect Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, both of which are wholly owned by the Miami-based holding company. The company also partially owns a number of smaller, Europe-based cruise companies, which will not be affected by the US-based cruise suspension.

“We understand the gravity of the public health crisis confronting the country,” the Royal Caribbean press release on Friday afternoon said. “And this is our part to play.”

Cruises departing from non-US ports are not affected. Cruises that depart US ports before midnight on Friday, March 13, are also not affected. US ships that are already at sea will complete their sailing as planned.

The company, which carried more than six million passengers in 2018, said in its release that it is “truly sorry” for guests whose vacations are disrupted. Royal Caribbean said it is also working with its crew to work out disruptions to their livelihood.

Royal Caribbean provided no information on the release on whether those with cancelled cruises would receive full refunds. On Thursday, Royal Caribbean was forced to cancel sailings with the Jewel of the Seas after two passengers onboard tested positive for coronavirus. The cruise company said it will refund all customers with planned cruises, and the boat is now docked at the Dubai port.

Royal Caribbean is the second-largest cruise company globally. The largest cruise company, Miami-based Carnival, announced several restrictions on Friday aimed at reducing the risk of a coronavirus outbreak onboard, including mandatory pre-boarding temperature checks.

Princess Cruise lines suspended cruises for the next 60 days after several of its ships were hit by a massive coronavirus outbreak.

Were your cruise plans affected by coronavirus-related cancellations? Email [email protected]