Countries have been hesitant and slow-moving to get the economy back up and running during the pandemic.
This couldn’t be more true than with the tourism industry because opening up borders may mean putting citizens at risk for exposure to COVID-19.
One cruise company thought bringing passengers back on board would jumpstart their journey toward normalcy – but did they set off for the high seas too soon?
Cruises have become nearly obsolete.
Cruise enthusiasts have been eager to board the popular form of travel ever since it ceased in most of the world, including the United States, in March.
Those who decided to book a cruise vacation early in the pandemic were left to suffer dire consequences after outbreaks occurred on multiple ships, causing panic and forced quarantine at sea, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported.
Norwegian expedition cruise company Hurtigruten decided to release their ships from the docks in a couple of popular ports.
Special precautions were implemented on the ships, such as filling to less than 50% capacity to encourage social distancing, eliminating the dangerous buffet line, and dropping anchor at places with minimal human interaction.
But apparently this isn’t enough – especially when it is your crew spreading the coronavirus.
Outbreak on a cruise ship yet again.
Four sick crew members were isolated on the 535-passenger Roald Amundsen recently after they came down with an unknown illness.
All four later tested positive for COVID-19 and were admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, Norway, according to The Points Guy.
Shortly after the initial four were hospitalized, an additional 32 crew members tested positive as well.
Not everyone was affected, as 122 of the crew members tested negative for the virus, but it still means the entire ship’s guest list will have to quarantine because of exposure.
A total of 178 passengers left the ship last Friday, all of whom were told to quarantine according to Norwegian health regulations.
An exhilarating trip ends with the wrong kind of adventure.
The Roald Amundsen is an adrenaline-filled, excursion-based, seven-night trip out of Tromsø to the Arctic’s Svalbard archipelago.
This is the last place you’d think you’d need to worry about the coronavirus.
Surrounded by ice and wildlife, you get to kayak, see huge glaciers, and do other extreme excursions.
Where to go from here.
There was a voyage scheduled for the following week that has been cancelled.
Hurtigruten was leading the way for additional European cruise lines to begin carrying passengers again before the recent COVID-19 cases put a halt to that.
The company also began cruises to Norway out of Hamburg, Germany in June which continue to run.
Only select travelers are allowed to board their ships, none of which are from the United States.
“We are now focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues,” Hurtigruten spokesperson Rune Thomas Ege said in a statement posted Saturday, The Points Guy reports.
He added, “We work closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.”
In an effort to embark sooner than later, Hurtigruten has enhanced safety and health measures on all operating ships, including added health screenings for the passengers and crew.
These are similar guidelines other cruise companies have discussed using to get their ships back up and running.
Cruise ships have some of the highest risks for the spread of germs than any other form of travel, but it remains a worldwide favorite to many.
It won’t be long until the seas are speckled with the giant vessels once again, but in the meantime, you can explore the classic family road trip or a quick flight to one of our nation’s hidden gems.