<p>The Norwegian Pearl curtailed its sailing </p>

The Norwegian Pearl curtailed its sailing

Norwegian Cruise Line cancels eight sailings due to Covid restrictions

Brand cited ‘Covid-related circumstances’

Helen Coffey
Friday 07 January 2022 10:36

A major cruise line has cancelled eight sailings in response to tighter travel restrictions introduced in the wake of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Norwegian Cruise Line cited “ongoing travel restrictions” and “Covid related circumstances” when announcing it was axing future itineraries.

“Our first priority is the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit,” the brand said in a statement.

Its Norwegian Pearl vessel returned to Miami after just one day at sea on Wednesday, after several crew members tested positive for coronavirus.

Sailings on the ship are cancelled until at least 14 January.

Itineraries are also cancelled on the Norwegian Sky, Pride of America, Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Spirit ships - some up until April.

Affected passengers will receive automatic refunds, according to Norwegian.

It follows the news that every passenger cruise currently sailing in US waters has reported Covid-19 cases onboard.

All 92 ships have now met the threshold for investigation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

At the beginning of the new year, the US’s national public health agency issued a warning against taking cruises, even for those who are fully vaccinated, after a huge surge in cases onboard.

More than 5,000 infections were recorded on passenger ships in the last two weeks of December 2021, compared to just 162 in the first two weeks of the same month.

“The virus that causes Covid-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting Covid-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a Covid-19 vaccine booster dose,” the CDC warns in its official guidance.

Last month, the world’s largest cruise liner, Symphony of the Seas, was found to have 48 Covid infections when it docked in Miami.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said that each person who had tested positive on arrival immediately went into quarantine, while six people who had tested positive onboard had already disembarked the ship mid-voyage.

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