Norwegian Cruise Line has announced it is canceling the upcoming itinerary for its Norwegian Spirit cruise from April to December, in response to the growing concern regarding the spread of the coronavirus.
While there has been no word yet on if the ship’s itinerary will change, the company assured passengers that were already booked that they would issue a full refund, in addition to covering guests’ airfare change fees up to $300 per person.
“While it is always our intention to maintain original itineraries, at times, unforeseen circumstances require us to make modifications. We appreciate our guests’ patience during this time,” Norwegian said in a statement.
Additionally, Norwegian is implementing a series of preventative measures designed to minimize the chances of infection, including barring any guests with a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport from entry onto any of the cruise line’s ships.
“The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our number one priority. We have proactively implemented several preventative measures due to growing concerns regarding Coronavirus infections in China,” NCL said in a statement. “We will continue to consult with The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and take appropriate additional action as needed.”
This news comes as the death toll reached over 1,000 people in mainland China, while the total number of infected cases surpasses 40,000.
During a meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) leaders in Geneva this week, director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned “with 99% of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world.”