SEA-DREAM_2 Cruise-shi

SeaDream Cancels 2020 Cruising Retrun After COVID-19 Outbreak

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November 17, 2020

Cruise Ship SeaDream II underway near Bitter End / Virgin Gorda. Photo by Peter Thomas via Marine Traffic.

By Nora Buli (Reuters) – Norwegian-owned cruise-ship operator SeaDream Yacht Club has canceled all sailing for the remainder of 2020 after positive COVID-19 test results onboard one of its cruises, it said on Tuesday, dealing a fresh blow to the cruise industry.

The decision follows an outbreak of the novel coronavirus aboard a voyage of its SeaDream I vessel in the Caribbean last week.

“7 guests and 2 crew members have tested positive for Covid-19 by Barbados health authorities,” SeaDream said in a statement.

Requirements for multiple negative PCR tests from guests before boarding had not been sufficient to prevent COVID-19 onboard, it said.

“The company will now spend time to evaluate and see if it is possible to operate and have a high degree of certainty of not getting COVID,” it said.

SeaDream Yacht Club said in September it planned to become the first luxury cruise operator to resume sailing in the West Indies, with 22 voyages planned from Nov. 7 onwards.

By contrast, most U.S. cruise operators have suspended their operations until the end of 2020, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said on Nov. 3.

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Cruise ships were home to some of the earliest clusters of infections of the novel coronavirus as it spread globally early this year, shutting down much of the cruise industry.

SeaDream Yacht Club, founded by Norwegian investor Atle Brynestad, operates two luxury vessels, each with a capacity of up to 112 passengers.

(Reporting by Nora Buli Editing by Robert Birsel, Reuters)

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