SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — Princess Cruise Lines says it is voluntarily pausing its global ship operations for the next 60 days amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The pause in operations will affect the cruise line’s 18 ships for two months, impacting voyages departing March 12 to March 10. Cruises that are scheduled to end within the next five days will continue to sail, but voyages that extend beyond March 17 will end at the most convenient location for guests, the Santa Clarita-based cruise line said.
Guests who have already paid for a cruise during the 60 days of non-operation can put the money toward a future cruise of their choice. Princess Cruises says it will add a “generous” future cruise credit benefit which can be applied to cruise fare as an incentive.
Princess Cruises plans to set sail again on May 11.
Two of Princess Cruise Lines’ ships, the Diamond Princess and Grand Princess, both had dozens of passengers test positive for coronavirus, prompting the quarantine of both ships at sea for days. Thousands of people were subsequently quarantined, and seven passengers from the Grand Princess have died. Several cases of coronavirus that have cropped up in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Utah, Nevada and Canada have been linked back to the Grand Princess.
Princess Cruise Lines’ announcement comes in the wake of Viking suspending its river and ocean cruise operations until May. Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said the company recently discovered it had a river cruise guest in Southeast Asia who was exposed to COVID-19 while in transit on an international airline.
Viking says it’s suspending its embarkations from March 12 to April 30. Guests who have already paid for a voyage during that time frame will be offered a choice of a future cruise voucher valued at 125% of what they already paid, or a full refund.