Norwegian Cruise Line canceled its Caribbean voyage mid-term due to Covid-19, leaving travelers stranded at sea until the ship returns to New York.
The Norwegian Gem was on a 10-day sail, but this was canceled and the ship docked in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
“As we continue to navigate a smooth public health environment, while focusing on providing a safe experience for all on board, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Norwegian Gem’s current sailing in the Caribbean, due to Covid-related circumstances,” a Norwegian Cruise spokesperson said. noted.
It is unclear what exactly led to the cancellation. The spokesperson said the ship would return to New York “soon”, but did not provide a date.
Aimee Focaraccio said USA today that she boarded the ship on Sunday for her birthday cruise. But what was supposed to be a fun party has now turned into a “nightmare”, she said.
“I really can’t imagine four more days at sea in a row without having much to do,” she said, calling it “hugely disturbing.”
“Tomorrow will really be the only great day to enjoy the outdoors and after that we’ll be stuck inside. With limited shows, small crowds and nothing to do. I’m upset,” Focaraccio told the outlet.
Another traveler, Anthony Bivona, said last-minute changes to the itinerary were expected, given the pandemic.
“We all knew when we booked during such difficult times due to Covid that there would most likely be changes to our itinerary,” he said. “It wasn’t the exact itinerary we signed up for, but it was an absolutely amazing cruise nonetheless.”
According to Cruise Industry Newsall Gem passengers will receive a full refund.
The pandemic has caused a wave of setbacks for the cruise industry. Earlier this month, Norwegian has canceled many trips due to “ongoing travel restrictions”. A 12-day voyage on the Norwegian Pearl was also cut short due to Covid-19-related circumstances, the cruise line said.
Royal Caribbean Cruises has also canceled its Spectrum of the Seas cruise which was due to depart on January 6 after nine passengers from a previous sailing were exposed to Covid.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that cruising must currently be a risk of obtaining and spreading the virus, regardless of vaccination status.