The Norwegian Jewel, a ship from the Norwegian Cruise Line, had to cut its trip short because of mechanical problems and the COVID-19 outbreak caused many planned ports to close, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.
The ship experienced propulsion problems that require repairs at the next port—Honolulu Harbor in Hawaii. It docked there on Sunday and the repairs require that no passengers be on board during the process. No passengers or crew members disembarked the ship on Sunday.
The Norwegian Jewel has a total of 2,000 passengers and 1,000 crew members on board, none of whom are confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, the disease the CCP virus causes. NTD refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and become a global pandemic.
“A detailed plan is being developed with Norwegian Cruise Line that keeps passengers isolated to avoid any potential strain on Hawaii’s resources, while also addressing the well-being of the cruise line passengers who have been at sea for a very long time. Because of the additional precautions we are taking in response to the COVID-19 crisis, it will take some time to transport these passengers to safety to their chartered planes and we thank the public for its cooperation and understanding,” said Jade Butay, director of the Hawaii Department of Transportation, in a statement.
The ship embarked in Sydney, Australia, in February and last disembarked in Fiji on March 11, three days before cruise ships suspended all travel for 30 days. The ship was originally scheduled to visit Australia and French Polynesia on a 23-day cruise but was cut short after many ports closed or refused to allow the ship to dock, the Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement.
Charter flights have been arranged for ship passengers on Monday and Tuesday from Honolulu to Los Angeles, California; Sydney, Australia; London, UK; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Frankfurt, Germany, the company said, adding that passengers will go through “enhanced medical screening” before they are allowed to disembark the ship.
All 1,000 crew members will remain on the cruise ship, the company said.
“Norwegian Jewel was the last vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet with guests aboard at sea. All ships will soon be berthed in ports around the world until the temporary sailing suspension is lifted,” Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report