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Coronavirus-hit Princess Cruises to suspend operations

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 12, 2020 - Duration: 01:52s

Coronavirus-hit Princess Cruises to suspend operations

Princess Cruises, the operator of two ocean liners quarantined because of numerous coronavirus cases, said on Thursday it would suspend voyages of all its 18 ships for two months.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

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Coronavirus-hit Princess Cruises to suspend operations

Princess Cruises, the operator of two ocean liners that suffered coronavirus outbreaks, said it's suspending all voyages for two months.

Shares of its parent company, Carnival, which have already lost over half their value since the start of the year, tumbled further on the news.

The suspension impacts all of the 18 ships operated by Princess Cruises starting Thursday, all the way until May 10th.

Princess Cruises has found itself caught in the crosshairs of the public health crisis.

First, in February, when its Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan came under the spotlight after hundreds of people onboard were infected with coronavirus.

At that point, it was the biggest concentration of confirmed cases outside China.

Roughly 700 people onboard were infected and six died.

Then, last week, its Grand Princess liner was denied entry to San Francisco Bay after authorities learned some passengers and crew had developed flu-like symptoms. An initial round of testing found that 21 people had been infected.

Hundreds of other travelers, who were on the ship, are now under quarantine at military bases across the country.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) GRAND PRINCESS CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER, DENISE STONEHAM, A 52-YEAR-OLD FROM MARIN COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, WHO WAS ON THE CRUISE SHIP WITH HER HUSBAND, SAYING: "The health authorities aren't really saying much, other than the fact that we're quarantine for fourteen days and it's not an option, it's ordered to us by the CDC and the health department.

We were actually given legal documents stating that we will be here for fourteen days." The cruise industry has been battered by the virus, which has plunged the overall travel and tourism industry into one of its worst crises.

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