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March 23 updates: Costa complexity, flu-like symptoms on Zaandam, Coral can't dock in South America, NCL's last ship comes in and more

Forty-two people have reported flu-like symptoms on Zaandam, which has been unable to disembark in South America. The ship is heading north on the Pacific Coast with the intent to end at Fort Lauderdale
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.

Silver Shadow Americans repatriated

During today's White House coronavirus task force briefing, President Donald Trump said 103 American citizens who'd been stranded in Brazil for 10 days after a cruise were brought home overnight. News reports identified the ship as Silver Shadow, though Silversea Cruises declined to confirm this. 

Trump thanked Brazil and his own administration, in cooperation with Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and the private sector, for coordinating the travelers' safe return.

Costa Luminosa complexity

The disembarkation of Costa Luminosa in Savona was wrapping up Monday night with the remaining 337 passengers leaving. All crew are to be landed Tuesday, apart from 100 who are asymptomatic and essential to the ship's operation.

Some 189 non-European passengers and 180 crew, symptomatic and otherwise, will be transferred to shoreside lodging managed by managed by Costa Cruises in Lazio and Tuscany. Some 550 crew are to be flown home on two charter flights Tuesday.

Costa Luminosa reached Savona Friday with around 80 people, including 30 passengers and 50 crew, with flu-like symptoms or coronavirus. Over the weekend, the condition of seven passengers worsened and they were hospitalized in Savona. They include two Dutch citizens, one Israeli, one Australian, two Argentines and one Mauritian.

If things go as planned, within 72 hours of the ship's arrival, more than 1,400 people will have been transferred in a very complex operation coordinated by the national and Ligurian civil protection and other agencies. By Tuesday, Costa Luminosa is to move to another quay.

Costa Pacifica now in Civitavecchia

During Costa Pacifica's Saturday-Sunday stopover in Genoa, 1,454 passengers of many nationalities were disembarked out of a total of 2,359 passengers. Despite the difficult context due to travel restrictions imposed by countries in Europe and around the world, transfers and flights home were secured.

To facilitate the repatriation of the 905 remaining passengers, the ship left Genoa Sunday evening and is now at Civitavecchia, chosen for its proximity to the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport Fiumicino (Rome), where disembarkation will continue. According to Costa, the health status on board is normal.

Flu-like symptoms on Zaandam

Thirteen passengers and 29 crew aboard Zaandam reported to the ship’s medical center with influenza-like symptoms Sunday morning. Holland America Line asked all passengers to remain in their staterooms until it has more information. Those who are ill have been isolated and their close contacts are in quarantine.

Public areas are closed and meals are being delivered by room service. Crew not required for the safe operation of the ship are quarantined. There are 1,243 passengers and 586 crew on board.

Zaandam left Buenos Aires March 7 and with HAL's subsequent global suspension of service, the line was planning to disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, but was not permitted to do so. No one has been off the ship since March 14 in Punta Arenas.

The intention is to proceed to Fort Lauderdale for arrival on March 30, however HAL is still working to secure a reservation to transit the Panama Canal. Alternative options are being developed.

Coral Princess heading to Fort Lauderdale

Coral Princess has also faced difficulty disembarking in South America. The ship made a service call at Montevideo, Uruguay, Saturday to take on supplies and fuel. No one was allowed ashore. Coral Princess is now sailing directly to Fort Lauderdale with arrival expected in about 14 days.

Princess Cruises said Coral Princess 'abruptly' departed Buenos Aires late on March 19, before all guests were disembarked. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez issued a decree at 8 p.m., effective at midnight, that would have required the ship to remain in port for an indeterminate period, with no one allowed to disembark during that time. So the decision was made to leave immediately.

There are 1,024 passengers on board.

Norwegian Jewel in Honolulu, last NCL ship carrying passengers

Norwegian Jewel arrived in Honolulu on Sunday and charter flights have been arranged for Monday and Tuesday to fly passengers home to Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Vancouver, BC; and Frankfurt.

This was the last vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet with guests aboard at sea. All its ships will soon be berthed in ports around the world until the temporary sailing suspension is lifted.

Hawaii's exception due to necessary propulsion repairs

Hawaii, which has not been permitting cruise ships to disembark, said Norwegian Jewel was allowed because it is experiencing propulsion problems that require immediate repairs. These must be made without passengers on board, which prompted the Department of Transportation to make this exception.

Norwegian Jewel's 23-day ‘Australia and French Polynesia’ cruise, which departed Sydney on February 28, was modified due to multiple port closures. She was to have sailed to New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa and French Polynesia, completing the voyage in Papeete last Friday.

According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, 16 cruise ships have canceled visits during Cruise Lines International Association's 30-day suspension of service from/to US ports.

Wells Fargo downgrades CCL

Wells Fargo Securities downgraded Carnival Corp. shares to 'underweight' (sell) from 'overweight' (buy), with a $6 price target, down from $55.

The brokerage expects Carnival will soon need to issue $4bn to $5bn of equity. 'While somewhat expected, this will be meaningfully dilutive to existing shareholders,' analyst Tim Conder said in a note.

Conder expects a post-COVID-19 industry recovery will be 'elongated, producing the need for additional net financing in 2021 despite current reductions in capex, operating expenses and dividend elimination.' 

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