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May 4 updates: Japan to draft international cruise ship outbreak rules, Costa/Pullmantur delay, Carnival Australia bonus pay

CRUISE Diamond Princess.jpg
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Diamond Princess was the setting of the largest outbreak outside mainland China
In addition to feature-story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

Japan plans rules for cruise ship outbreaks

The Japanese government is undertaking research to draft international rules for disease outbreaks on cruise ships because, it said, the responsibility of relevant authorities is unclear, according to The Japan News.

A conflict between port state and flag state authority was cited. The story quoted a Foreign Ministry official: 'If the country where a port call is made is entirely responsible for a ship, no countries would allow a ship with a mass infection to call at port.' 

The Japan News said ¥60m (about US$562,000) has been budgeted for the initiative, with a report to be ready for presentation to international bodies by March 2021. 

During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Diamond Princess — quarantined in Yokohama — experienced the largest outbreak outside of China.

Costa delays through June

Costa Cruises further extended its suspension of sailings, now through June. Customers and travel agents are being contacted.

And Pullmantur until July 3

Pullmantur has extended the suspension of its cruise operations until July 3 and aims to resume activity on July 4.

Customers will be reimbursed with a voucher for the amount paid to the company and offered on-board credit.

Carnival Australia’s extra commission on new bookings

Carnival Cruise Line in Australia and New Zealand is offering travel agents an extra 1% commission on new retail bookings made on until the end of June. The program was earlier introduced in the US.

It is part of ‘Onboard with You,’ a pledge to support agents.

Sales Director for Australasia Anton Loeb said the bonus builds on the company’s commitment to protect commission on all fully paid bookings cancelled due to the pause in operations. 

‘Carnival is also offering full commission on the value of the future cruise credits, providing agents the opportunity to earn commission on their original booking and compensating them for working to re-book their clients using their FCC,’ he said.

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