One of the first cruise ships to resume navigation quarantined after coronavirus outbreak – World News


One of the first cruises in the world to resume navigation amid the pandemic was hit by a coronavirus outbreak.The Hurtigruten expedition vessel is currently under quarantine with 160 crew on board off the coast of northern Norway.

Hundreds of additional passengers who left the MS Roald Amundsen are now found, after four crew members tested positive for Covid-19 – initially without having symptoms.

The Norwegian 535-passenger vessel is currently moored off Tromso, having had to stop sailing to the remote islands of Svalbard.

Hurtigruten headquarters said the ship was isolated with 160 crew on board.

The ship is named after polar explorer Roald Amundsen

The company is helping Norwegian health authorities contact 177 passengers on the cruise ending Friday, and 209 other guests on a cruise ending July 24.

All crossings will be canceled by September, the line added.

It will be a blow to the company, whose brand new “state-of-the-art” eco-conscious vessel is less than a year old and was only recently cleared to return to service.

It transported tourists to the remote archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole famous for its polar bears, as the country eased restrictions on domestic travel.

Roald Amundsen’s packages start at almost £ 3,500 to over £ 7,000 for longer 19-day crossings that include options for expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctica, South and Central America.

The cruise transported visitors to Svalbard, famous for its polar bears

The luxury ship’s exterior upper decks have a stunning infinity pool and hot tubs, and it has three Nordic-themed restaurants on board.

Passengers can take yoga classes on their scenic trips.

Cabins are decorated in a classic Scandinavian aesthetic and most include outdoor balconies and private hot tubs.

It has an outdoor observation deck for tourists to view wildlife, such as polar bears and walruses on the icy shores of Svalbard, as well as whales and penguins in Antarctica.

Its two polar cruise options include stops in Antarctica, Patagonia and the Chilean Fjords and Falklands.

The ship also organizes excursions to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, and the Pacific coast of Central America, which include sightings of monkeys, turtles, dolphins, and sloths.

The ship is moored in Tromso, in the far north of Norway (file photo)

It also has an interactive science center on board so visitors can learn about the environment, wildlife and polar waters.

The latest outbreak is one of the first after cruise ships around the world found themselves in stranded floating prisons with hundreds stranded on board at the start of the pandemic.

Passengers have died on some ships, as passengers and crew found themselves stranded on their journeys as the crisis began to wipe out flights and fuel the chaos of international travel.

The crisis led countries, including the United States, to declare cruises banned from citizens at the start of the crisis, as liners were deemed particularly vulnerable to the spread of the virus.

MS Roald Amundsen barely launched before the coronavirus crisis hit the cruise industry

The pandemic has threatened cruise operators around the world, with some lines already forced to shut down as the crisis continues to devastate the travel industry.

A statement from Hurtigruten said: “The four crew members were isolated several days ago due to other symptoms of the disease, without any symptoms of Covid-19. They were still being tested regularly when the ship docked in Tromso on Friday morning.

“The four crew members are now admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN).

A walrus on an ice floe in Spitsbergen (file photo)

“The ship is isolated and the 160 crew on board will be tested. Hurtigruten and Norwegian health authorities are in the process of contacting the 177 passengers on the cruise ending July 31 and the 209 passengers on the cruise ending July 24.

“The safety of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s top priority. We work closely with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI), the Municipality of Tromsø, UNN and other resources both at local and national level ”, added Rune Thomas Ege, vice president of global communications by Hurtigruten. .

“Hurtigruten has put strict hygiene measures in place on all ships during the coronavirus pandemic.

“All crew members are closely watched and examined daily. As a precaution, the crew members in question were isolated early, and the cases discovered, even without showing any symptoms of Covid-19.

“The ship was due to go to Svalbard on Friday afternoon. This trip is now canceled. The next cruise with the ship is not scheduled until September.

“We will be contacting all passengers who were on board on previous trips to give them information and advise them of the authorities,” Ege added.


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