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April 7 updates: Ruby Princess and Celebrity Apex crew screenings, Coral Princess charters, Disney and CroisiEurope delay, Ports of Genoa, PVA resources

Ruby Princess.jpg
Ruby Princess, shown in Sydney during its March 19 call which is now subject to a criminal investigation, has been directed to Port Kembla where health officials boarded to assess the crew
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.

Ruby Princess docks for crew medical assessments

Ruby Princess, at the centre of a criminal investigation, on Monday docked at a grain terminal facility in Port Kembla, just south of Sydney, to allow Australian Border Force and health officers to go aboard.

NSW Police announced the ship will remain there for about 10 days. A statement said this will allow medical assessments to take place and the emergency extractions of seriously ill crew.

It is understood that around 200 of the 1,000 crew on board have symptoms of COVID-19.

‘The crew will not disembark unless in an emergency and approved by the NSW Police Commissioner,’ the statement said. ’The berthing will be conducted under strict health and biosecurity guidelines and will not pose a risk to employees at the port or the broader community.’

COVID-19 cases rise on Celebrity Apex

According to the regional health agency, 217 cases, up from 157 a week ago, have now been registered on Celebrity Apex, still berthed at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire.

Four people have been taken to the hospital, and two are in intensive care. Some days ago, four doctors and five nurses arrived from the United States and have been on board to test all crew.

Coral Princess charter flights

Disembarkation from Coral Princess at PortMiami is contnuing today with an additional nine domestic charter flights scheduled. All charters were arranged by Princess Cruises

Following today’s efforts, approximately 90 international travelers will remain aboard until arrangements can be made to get them home. 

Disney drops Vancouver sailings through June, no word on Europe yet

Disney Cruise Line, which earlier extended the suspension of all new departures through April 28, also notified it will not operate sailings to/from Vancouver, BC, at least through June. No surprise since Canada on March 13 announced cruise ships carrying more than 500 people (passengers and crew) would be banned through June. Vancouver is Disney's Alaska homeport.

As for Disney Magic's Europe season, scheduled to begin mid-May, the line currently hasn't made any changes. Passengers booked on Europe sailings through the July 25 departure can change their reservation up until the day before embarkation and receive a 100% future cruise credit to be used within 15 months of their original sail date. Those booked on July 13, July 18 and July 25  Europe sailings may delay their final payment until 30 days prior to sailing.

CroisiEurope cancels more departures 

The French river cruise company has again extended its canceled sailings, now to May 15. For Africa cruises, the delay is until May 31, apart from Egypt, until May 2, and for Russia, May 29.

Ports of Genoa website

Ports of Genoa created a dedicated area, Coronavirus Emergency Updates, on its website with information about the port authority’s response to the COVID-19 emergency in Genoa, Pra’, Savona and Vado Ligure, including a bulletin of latest developments.

Passenger Vessel Association resources

The Passenger Vessel Association, the national trade association for US-flag vessels, created a COVID-19 resource library to assist members. This is found in the member resources area of PVA's website, divided into two areas.

The government information area includes guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Coast Guard, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Small Business Administration and others. Included are best practices for mitigating the spread of coronavirus and government actions, requirements and limitations on inspected domestic passenger vessels and credentialed mariners.

The PVA member information area covers guidance developed by the association's safety and security committee to address public concerns and implement best practices.