The US shipping company Princess Cruises announced Thursday that it has decided to suspend for two months all the crossings of its 18 cruises in response to the «unpredictable circumstances» of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the US company has said it has made this decision as a «proactive response to the unpredictable circumstances surrounding the global outbreak» of the coronavirus and out of «extreme caution.»
The suspension of operations affects all cruises that were scheduled to start their journey between March 12 and May 10. «Princess Cruises is a global vacation company serving more than 50,000 clients a day from 70 countries as part of our diverse business,» the firm said.
«It is widely known that we have had to manage the implications of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) on two continents,» said the president of the shipping company, Jan Swartz.
«By making this courageous decision to voluntarily suspend the operations of our ships, our intention is to reaffirm to our loyal customers, team members and global shareholders our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well like those who do business with us and the countries and communities we visit around the world, «concluded Swartz.
Cruises that are currently sailing will continue their journey to completion. Crossings that extend beyond March 17 will end in the «most appropriate» location for travelers, as Princess Cruises explained.
The company has said that the people affected by the cancellations will be able to enjoy the cruise of their choice when operations resume or they may request the refund of all the money paid for the trip.
The cruise ship most affected by the coronavirus outbreak is the ‘Diamond Princess’, which was quarantined in front of the Japanese port of Yokohama and registered dozens of positive cases until the Japanese authorities allowed the disembarkation of travelers and the crew.