Princess Cruises to suspend global operations through May 10 because of coronavirus

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FILE- In this Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 file photo, passengers from the Caribbean Princess wait for ground transportation at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Princess Cruises confirmed on Monday March 9, 2020, that the Caribbean Princess was ordered by the CDC to keep its passengers and crew on board while crew members get tested for COVID-19. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Princess Cruises has announced, due to the new coronavirus, it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for 60 days, affecting trips departing March 12 to May 10.

Cruise ships have been particularly hard hit amid the new pandemic and have been turned away by dozens of ports and countries. The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which Japanese officials held in a flawed quarantine operation, infected hundreds of passengers and crew.

Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, says “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.”

Passengers now on a Princess cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through the end of the itinerary. Current voyages that extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for guests.

Under normal operations, it serves more than 50,000 passengers a day.

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