Princess Cruises announced Thursday that it will suspend global operations through May 10 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, the Southern California-based cruise line said its 18 ships will not operate for two months, affecting trips departing Thursday to May 10.
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Anyone currently on a cruise ending in the next five days will continue their voyage as planned through the end of the itinerary, the company said. Voyages that are underway and scheduled to continue beyond March 17 will end at "the most convenient location for guests," the statement continued.
"By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises.
The cruise line is offering guests the option to transfer money paid for a cancelled cruise to a future cruise.
Passengers aboard the Grand Princess were quarantined this week due to the noval coronavirus. The ship arrived at the Port of Oakland on Monday carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crewmembers, including 21 who had tested positive for COVID-19.
A Princess ship was quarantined off the coast of Japan last month. Japanese authorities quarantined the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the port of Yokohama for a two weeks after 10 passengers were initially diagnosed with the COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had already advised travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, to defer all cruise ship travel worldwide. On March 8, the State Department advised Americans to avoid travel by cruise ship.
Cruise Lines International Association, the world's largest cruise industry trade organization, announced Wednesday that additional screening measures will be taken in response to the spread of the disease.