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April 6 updates: Cruise ships ordered to vacate Australia, Coral Princess transport, Hurtigruten delays return to service

Voyager of the Seas Sydney.jpg
Among the cruise ships vacating Australian waters, Voyager of the Seas has set sail for Bali
In addition to feature story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s other coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

Ships leaving Australian waters

There were 20 cruise ships in Australian waters on Monday, but there will be no more than three at the end of the week.

Last Saturday the Australian Border Force Commissioner sent letters to all cruise ship operators to leave Australian waters by Monday for those vessels currently at a port and by this coming Wednesday for vessels that have to refuel and take on supplies.

This followed an NSW Police order to vacate

Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas and Celebrity Solstice are sailing to Singapore and Voyager of the Seas has set sail for Bali.

The Australian Border Force said Ruby Princess, which has been off Sydney Harbour, and Artania, locked down in Fremantle with its crew and a few remaining passengers on board, will be sent away as soon as practicable.

‘We must ensure we are protecting the Australian community from any known medical risks, but we also want to ensure each ship can safely return home,’ ABF said.

Coral Princess charter flights and ground transport

At PortMiami, Coral Princess passengers requiring shoreside medical care have been transferred to a facility arranged by Princess Cruises. As well, 545 passengers disembarked Sunday and a further 139 this morning. Meanwhile, 274 passengers remained on board.

As disembarkation continued today, priority went to those who departed on a chartered flight to Canada and via chauffeured ground transportation for local Florida residents, all arranged by Princess. Additional domestic charter flights are being coordinated and are scheduled to depart Tuesday.

Hurtigruten delays further

Hurtigruten extended its temporary suspension of operations — expedition cruises until May 12 and the Alaska season until July due to Canadian travel restrictions. The latter impacts the May 17, May 31, June 12, June 24 and July 1 Roald Amundsen departures.

Operations on the Norwegian coast are suspended through May 20 though, in agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, Richard With and Vesterålen are carrying critical supplies and goods to Norwegian communities hit hard by travel restrictions.

Passengers whose voyages are canceled will get a 125% future cruise credit and a 10% discount on another sailing to be used from July 1, 2020, through 2021. Those booked for sailings that haven't been canceled through September may rebook at no penalty with a 10% future cruise credit.

Hurtigruten said it has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 on board.