On average, one or two travellers in each sailing of 1,000 people are testing positive for the virus on a weekly basis, said Royal Caribbean.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the company’s CEO, Michael Bayley, said that infections were cropping up despite the line’s requirement that passengers aged two and above must present a negative Covid test before boarding.
“How is that possible? Testing captures status at a point of time, and if the guest is incubating infection, then the test will miss it,” he said.
“Do we have Covid positive guests onboard? Yes! How many guests are positive? Typically one or two of a thousand plus guests a week per ship.”
Most Royal Caribbean sailings also require passengers over 12 to be fully vaccinated, with 90-97 per cent of travellers meeting this requirement on a typical cruise.
According to Mr Bayley, most cruisers testing positive for coronavirus while onboard are “kids” who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
All crew on Royal Caribbean ships are fully vaccinated.
After more than a year’s hiatus, during which the cruise industry ground to a halt, 13 of Royal Caribbean’s 26-strong fleet of ships are currently back on the water.
When passengers test positive for Covid while onboard, they are immediately quarantined.
The rest of their travelling party is tested, and there is also a contract tracing programme in place for all other close contacts.
“Repatriation home via private jet” is what awaits Covid-positive passengers in the “majority of cases”, said Mr Bayley.
He added: “Maybe this is too much information, however [with a] community of people vaccinated at 90 to 97 per cent with frequent testing for all, [a cruise ship] is literally one of the safest places on the planet.”
It follows the news that 27 passengers tested positive for coronavirus on a recent cruise.
All travellers who tested positive for the virus had already been fully vaccinated.
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