The cruise industry, much like many other modes of travel, is currently trying to work out how to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus. If you’re not familiar with the details of the disease, let us here at your favorite cruise site enlighten you. The current outbreak originated in Wuhan, China and is actually a completely new disease to science, which is partially why it’s so freaky right now. Those studying it aren’t completely sure where it came from yet, but different theories point to bats or seafood. The symptoms are what you’d expect from the flu, like coughing, trouble breathing and fever. There’s no real cure yet, but for what it’s worth the amount of people dying from it is currently only estimated at around 3%. If your immune system is okay, you’re probably fine.
With that being said, cruise lines are getting really serious about making sure it doesn’t spread more than it has to. Boats can turn into floating, disease-spreading nightmares pretty quickly (well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still!), plus they don’t want to bring anyone with the virus to a port and spread it to new islands and nations. Cruises are checking out a handful of different ways of handling it, including itinerary changes, blocking of passengers that are high-risk and more.
In terms of itineraries getting moved around, Genting has announced that one of its ships is switching from Hong Kong to Taiwan. MSC did something similar by cancelling two voyages to Shanghai in favor of heading to Singapore. Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Sea (which is normally homeported in China) might be heading towards Taiwain in February, as well. Cunard is swapping from Hong Kong to Singapore for a February 18 and 19 sailing. We could go on, but we think you get the point: many, many different cruise lines are scrambling to make sure they don’t head towards the hubs of the virus.
In order to prevent the virus from ever entering the boats, Royal Caribbean is one of a few cruise lines upping some restrictive measures. Those who have traveled to Hong Kong or China within two weeks won’t be stepping on their boats. MSC is doing the same, but their rules say thirty days. Plus, if you have a fever on their ship, say hello to a quick quarantine, our infected friend.
Despite all these changes, it seems it’s not quite enough to salvage everything financially. Cancelled cruises for Royal has them predicting a drop of $0.10 per share, with a possible further impact occurring if the situation doesn’t get any better.
But hey, not everyone has given up! Costa still has plenty of ships operating in China, the Sapphire Princess still plans to be there this year. A few ships from MSC, Royal, and more are still slated to go to China as well. So, if that’s your dream vacation destination this year, you’re still free to go! Although, we aren’t sure we would currently recommend it….