In the last week, there have been at least a dozen positive COVID-19 cases reported by the international media.
Three days ago, three people, including an unvaccinated crew member, tested positive for coranavirus aboard the American Constellation cruise ship during a 10-night cruise from Juneau, Alaska which left July 4, 2021. The other people infected included two vaccinated passengers. We reported on this outbreak on July 12, 2021.
Cruise ship 🛳 cancels after 2 vaccinated passengers & one unvaccinated crew tested positive. Unclear who infected first, but the unvaccinated crew tested positive after a vaccinated passenger became symptomatic. ➡️ Cruise staff should vax & mask indoors. https://t.co/EDmq8k85wC
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) July 12, 2021
Yesterday, Anchorage Daily News reported that an additional seven (7) people on the small cruise (carrying 162 guests) tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of associated cases to ten (10). The Alaskan newspaper said that “it wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the individuals associated with the seven new cases were also fully vaccinated.”
Two days ago, we learned that a 40-year-old passenger on the Dream Cruises ship World Dream underwent polymerase chain reaction *PCR) tests on board and tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Straits Times. The guest was tested after it was determined that he was a close of a confirmed Covid-19 case on Tuesday and was immediately isolated as part of onboard health protocols.
NOT TIME FOR A CRUISE
Nearly 3,000 guests, crew disembark cruise in Singapore after positive Covid case left them confined in cabins
— Michael O'Grady (@mog7546) July 17, 2021
Yesterday, a vaccinated guest sailing on Viking Sky‘s current cruise around Iceland tested positive for COVID-19, according to Travel Agent Central. The cruise ship in question was on an “Iceland’s Natural Beauty” cruise which departed roundtrip from Reykjavik, Iceland on July 10th. The positive case surfaced while the ship was in Seydisfjordur on a scheduled port call. The ship’s captain informed guests about the positive case over over the intercom system and reportedly said that local authorities would not permit the ship to remain in port.
#COVID #cruise news. a vaccinated passenger on Viking Sky's Iceland cruise tested positive for COVID-19, they were quaratined and she ship was forced to leave port. The cruise was a roundtripper from Reykjavik, that sailed July 10. Contact tracing was performed.
— Patti Pietschmann, Globetrotting Travel Diva (@pattipietsch) July 15, 2021
5pm @VikingCruises Sky
Captain announced that Iceland Coastguard requires us to return to Reykjavik so no port stop tomorrow. He said shore excursions would be refunded and Viking was determining how to compensate us for the disruption. He stopped abruptly and said thank you. 1/2
— Clay Clayton (@RealClayClayton) July 15, 2021
Viking Cruises has what appears to be comprehensive health and safety protocols, as you can read in this Cruise Critic review.
A @VikingCruises sailing around #Iceland has been ended early after Iceland's Coast Guard and local officials wouldn't let passengers off in local ports due to a single passenger testing positive for #COVID19. This may just be a part of cruising for a while … https://t.co/gT97xSADbm
— Gene Sloan (@CruiseLog) July 15, 2021
Earlier this month, three passengers aboard the MSC Grandiosa tested positive for the virus. The test results were announced when the cruise ship returned to port in Spain.
A “small number” of crew members aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise liner tested positive according to Cunard, which BBC News reported on July 6, 2021. The Cunard ship had “about 800” crew members aboard at the time of the test said the British cruise company. Exactly what a “small number” means is anyone’s guess. Cunard refused to disclose the actual number of positive cases.
According to @BBCWorld, Cunard says a "small number" of crew tested positive for #COVID19 on @cunardline #QueenElizabeth https://t.co/Uj4cEcywD5 so for a #cruise ship with "about 800" crew members, exactly how many is a "small number?" 3, 5, 9, 12, 15? pic.twitter.com/sMU7tLM3bC
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) July 6, 2021
Yesterday the Miami Herald reported that of 63 cruise ships operating or planning to operate ships in US waters, 16 have reported COVID-19 cases on board in the last 7 days according to data maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) July 15, 2021
There have not been media reports regarding many of these positive COVID-19 cases referred to in the CDC data.
The positive COVID cases resulted in the cruises in question on the Ameterican Constellation and World Dream ending early with the Queen Elizabeth cancelling the re-start of cruising for a month. The Viking Sky missed three scheduled ports and had to return to Reykjavik early.
The twelve cases reported by the media involving the American Constellation, World Dream, Viking Sky, and MSC Grandiosa bring the total number of COVID cases on cruise ships since cruising was shut down in the U.S. in March of 2020 to at least two hundred and fifty-two (252), plus the cases from the Queen Elizabeth, based on media accounts.
As more and more cruise ships begin to resume operations with passengers, there will be a steady number of positive COVID cases reported by the media. There will be a couple of positive COVID cases on one ship, a few on another ship, five to eight cases on another – this will be the pattern as long as cruise lines continue to resume operations during a pandemic. The news accounts will mention the positive cases but will invariably stop short of explaining whether the symptomatic guests require medical treatment, or how they respond to medical intervention and/or whether they fully recover, unlike an officer of Carnival Cruise Line who died of COVID last month.
COVID-19 cases are on the increase in all fifty states in the U.S. as the Delta variant continues to emerge. Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19 now involve people who decided not to be vaccinated.
Complicating matters is the state of Florida’s law which prohibits businesses from requiring vaccinations against COVID. This week Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) initiated litigation against this irresponsible law promoted by Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
NCL alleges @GovRonDeSantis' law prohibiting businesses from verifying vaccination status of #cruise guests "places human life & safety at undue risk" https://t.co/8thXXznTVF
"Florida cannot lawfully or sensibly tie NCLH’s hands in this pivotal fight, at this sensitive time.” pic.twitter.com/kC9l003pAe
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) July 15, 2021
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July 16 2021 Update: I was notified that the Viking Jupiter also experienced a positive COVID-19 case involving a guest today, per Cruise Critic comments.
Shakedown post pandemic cruise with Viking Jupiter in Iceland alongside in Akuryuri. After 2 excellent port stops, we were unable to go ashore today-one of our fellow passengers tested positive for coronavirus in our daily PCR testing. We’re pressing on overnight. #vikingjupiter pic.twitter.com/PqKXOeaPMw
— David L Nelson (@TheDavidLNelson) July 16, 2021
Image credit: Top – Viking Sky – Pjotr Mahhonin – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.