Coronavirus: Norwegian cancels sailing mid-voyage, stranding passengers at sea

Passengers aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship learned Thursday that COVID-19 concerns forced the mid-voyage cancellation of their 10-day outing.

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“As we continue to navigate the fluid public health environment, while focusing on delivering a safe experience for all on board, today, we made the difficult decision to cancel Norwegian Gem’s current Caribbean sailing, due to COVID-related circumstances,” Christine Da Silva, senior vice president of branding and communication for Norwegian Cruise Line, told USA Today in a prepared statement issued Friday.

Passenger Aimee Focaraccio shared a Friday night recording with the newspaper that explained the sailing’s abrupt cancellation, essentially trapping her aboard the vessel for the final four days of the 10-day birthday cruise she booked.

“Without the islands and ports to break up the sea days, this is turning into a nightmare. I really can’t imagine four more sea days back to back without much to do,” Focaraccio told USA Today.

Despite the cruise line’s assertion that “COVID-related circumstances” were the reason for canceling sailing, Focaraccio told the newspaper that she was not made aware of coronavirus cases aboard the ship.

According to The Hill, all Norwegian Gem passengers were given a full refund or cruise credit and an additional cruise credit equal to 50% of the current trip fare to be applied to a future cruise by May 2023.

The Norwegian Gem’s cancellation brings Norwegian’s total sailings canceled due to COVID-19 to 12, or more than half the cruise line’s fleet, USA Today reported.

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