Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is seen moored at Port St. Maarten in this file photo taken by Zaida Arrindell.
MIAMI/PHILIPSBURG–Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Costa Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises have all suspended operations, either globally or regionally, due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in a near complete shutdown of the cruise industry.
Two other cruise lines – Princess Cruises and Viking Cruises – announced their suspensions on Thursday.
Port St. Maarten said it had been informed of the suspensions of five of these cruise lines on Friday. “The measures being taken by the cruise lines are to help curb the spread of the virus and keep guests, crew and communities that the vessels visit, safe and healthy,” said the port in a press release on Friday.
Carnival Cruise Line and its 27-ship fleet will be docked until at least April 10. Ships already at sea will finish their itineraries as planned.
Royal Caribbean Cruises will also suspend cruises departing United States ports for a 30-day period, which would end around April 15. Royal Caribbean Cruises controls and operates four global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. Together these brands operate a combined total of 61 ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line has suspended operations until April 11. “The temporary suspension is aimed at contributing to efforts around the globe to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This measure is taken in an abundance of caution, and the company has not experienced any confirmed cases of COVID-19 across its 28-ship fleet,” said the cruise line in a statement.
MSC Cruises informed Port St. Maarten that it has suspended all its cruises departing from Miami, Florida, and the Caribbean until May 1. MSC’s fleet comprises 17 ships.
Costa Cruises announced on Friday that it will voluntarily halt its global operations until April 3.
Windstar Cruises will make its last call to St. Maarten today, Saturday, March 14. The cruise line has suspended operations until April 30.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has suspended its worldwide operations until May 23. This announcement comes in the wake of passengers aboard its ship Braemar testing positive for COVID-19.