Princess Cruises will pause the global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months from today.
In response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of Covid-19, sailings are not expected to resume until May 10th.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, said: “Princess Cruises is a global holiday company that serves more than 50,000 guests daily from 70 countries as part of our diverse business, and it is widely known that we have been managing the implications of Covid-19 on two continents.
“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, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world.”
One of Princess’ ships, Diamond Princess, was an early epicentre of the outbreak, with more than 700 cases record onboard the vessel during mooring in Yokohama, near Tokyo.
The cruise line said those currently onboard a trip that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through to the end of the itinerary so that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted.
Current voyages that are under way and extend beyond March 17th will be ended at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements.
“Princess will do everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care possible,” said a statement.
“During this time, our operations and medical teams across the fleet will remain vigilant in their care and service for guests and crew onboard.”
Princess is offering guests the opportunity to transfer 100 per cent of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice.
Find out more below as Princess Cruises chief executive, Jan Swartz, explains the decision: