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One of First Cruise Ships to Sail Has Covid 19 Outbreak

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Just reported by Points Guy one of the new Hurtigan ships on it's first post Covid sail only within Norway and Svolablad has Covid 19 outbreak and ship is in Quarantine in Tromso with 4 crewmen in Hospital after testing positive.

 

See below link for the rest of the story

 

Concerned that issue like this will prolong no sail orders.

 

 

https://thepointsguy.com/news/covid-outbreak-hurtigruten-norway/?fbclid=IwAR3O-Ifn3Vnisq8GPxCVC5mSSnbT0nqqyDcgLA8ZqQ713IkZpVTsnc06VnM

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The question some might ask is how does this result impact other cruise lines? Some might argue that this will not impact Regent since they are very different lines. In many ways that is true, but from a financial perspective, there is little difference. Every cruise line will have to draw their own conclusions. The amount of capital, both human and financial, required to begin cruising again will be substantial. To incur this same result would be awful. Most lines are simply not in a financial position to start up again in the near future only to end up with the same result. The financial losses would be unacceptable. It seems more and more that a possible vaccine is the only option. 

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Posted (edited)

Honestly, I wouldn't think management of any cruise line wouldn't think that the same, or worse, could happen to them, and this sort of news probably retriggers even greater scrutiny of any health and safety plans in the works.

 

Heck, the CDC wasn't thrilled with even NCL's (and I presume NCLH as a whole) initial stance on crew wearing masks.  I'm sure NCL has rethought that approach.

 

One company, Norwegian Cruise Lines, said it felt it had exceeded recommended C.D.C. guidance, because crew members were not just asked but “encouraged” to wear face coverings, the order said.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/travel/coronavirus-cruise-ban-extended.html

 

 

To me, it would be the height of hubris for any cruise line to not think, 'there but for the grace of God go we' when reading today's news.

Edited by greykitty

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1 hour ago, Steve Q said:

The question some might ask is how does this result impact other cruise lines? Some might argue that this will not impact Regent since they are very different lines. In many ways that is true, but from a financial perspective, there is little difference. Every cruise line will have to draw their own conclusions. The amount of capital, both human and financial, required to begin cruising again will be substantial. To incur this same result would be awful. Most lines are simply not in a financial position to start up again in the near future only to end up with the same result. The financial losses would be unacceptable. It seems more and more that a possible vaccine is the only option. 

SARS-CoV-2 is basically an aerosolized virus.  Any cruise line large or small will have a very difficult time attempting to prevent/manage this virus.  Albeit, Regent (and other similar small ships) have a larger space ratio, the reality of social distancing will be extremely challenging.  In fact, in some cases, smaller ships may have a harder time in initiating safe social distancing protocols.  As I remember the Regent ships I have been on, some do not have two hallways. As a simple example, if you have two hallways, you can make them one way (similar to what supermarkets have done). 

 

I totally agree that whatever line ends up having an outbreak, it will be beyond devastating for their business.   

 

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It is sad news for the crew, the passengers and the company. Sailing at less than 50% capacity can’t be good news in the first place and then for this to happen who knows what they can do?

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"Hurtigruten on Saturday said it had contacted all 178 passengers who left the ship early Friday, and they will self-quarantine in line with Norwegian health regulations.

 

The company also has contacted another 209 passengers who were aboard the previous sailing of the Roald Amundsen, and they also will self-quarantine."

 

I see two important points here: passengers on the prior cruise, now safely home, out of the blue are notified by the line they might be infected and need to get tested immediately. 

 

Or for those disembarking, told you must self-quarantine for 10-14 days without delay.

 

I am not criticizing Hurtigruten for taking these steps.  But it does highlight the width and breadth a virus outbreak on a cruise ship will have - regardless of the good intentions of a cruise company.

 

 

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2 hours ago, howiefrommd said:

SARS-CoV-2 is basically an aerosolized virus.  Any cruise line large or small will have a very difficult time attempting to prevent/manage this virus.  Albeit, Regent (and other similar small ships) have a larger space ratio, the reality of social distancing will be extremely challenging.  In fact, in some cases, smaller ships may have a harder time in initiating safe social distancing protocols.  As I remember the Regent ships I have been on, some do not have two hallways. As a simple example, if you have two hallways, you can make them one way (similar to what supermarkets have done). 

 

I totally agree that whatever line ends up having an outbreak, it will be beyond devastating for their business.   

 

Maybe easier for passengers to distance, but I dont see how that's possible for crew, specially in their sleeping / living quarters, working in the kitchen, the laundry, etc. etc

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30 minutes ago, cruiseluv said:

Maybe easier for passengers to distance, but I dont see how that's possible for crew, specially in their sleeping / living quarters, working in the kitchen, the laundry, etc. etc

You are fully correct.  I can think of no way that staff would be able to share housing/close quarters. 

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Is anyone surprised that this happened? There are people everywhere that are walking around with COVID-19 and don’t even know it. If it isn’t present on a ship that starts it’s journey, it likely will be after one or more port stops when cruisers go into bars, restaurants, museums, buses, etc. This is an easily spreadable virus that doesn’t require a sneeze or a cough to circulate and infect others. Just talking, drinking, even breathing can spread small aerosol particles that can infect others, especially in an indoor environment. I also believe that cruising won’t be going in any numbers until a vaccine is available and that at least at the beginning, people will have to prove that they are vaccinated before boarding. This may eleimnate some folks from cruising that cannot take the vaccine. 

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Posted (edited)

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/08/01/hurtigruten-cruise-line-33-crew-infected-covid-19-norway/5562151002/

 

“According to Ege, crew members are "closely monitored and screened daily." Non-Norwegian crew members are required to quarantine before boarding and non-European crew must undergo two negative COVID-19 tests prior to leaving their home country.”

 

What about the Norweigian crew...were they covid free? How can they be sure unless all crew went though a 14 quarantine after arrival at the ship before boarding? And, of course, then you have the odd passenger who may be a carrier but not sick! 

Edited by cwn

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1 hour ago, howiefrommd said:

You are fully correct.  I can think of no way that staff would be able to share housing/close quarters. 

 

It is just like a family that does not have to social distance.  If you do a pre-cruise isolation together (maybe 7 days since they would be tested before leaving home) - board the ship together and room together, there should not be a problem (unless you catch it from someone else which is no different than a husband, wife or child getting sick and bringing it home).  

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I would leave that to the infectious disease and epidemiological experts.  From some of the stuff I marginally read, they did not agree with that.  They were looking in the context of health care workers (docs, nurses, etc.)  and it was a premise they did not support.  

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This can be considered an experiment. Obviously a more restrictive set of protocols have to be put in place next attempt. 

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1 hour ago, pappy1022 said:

Is anyone surprised that this happened? There are people everywhere that are walking around with COVID-19 and don’t even know it. If it isn’t present on a ship that starts it’s journey, it likely will be after one or more port stops when cruisers go into bars, restaurants, museums, buses, etc. This is an easily spreadable virus that doesn’t require a sneeze or a cough to circulate and infect others. Just talking, drinking, even breathing can spread small aerosol particles that can infect others, especially in an indoor environment. I also believe that cruising won’t be going in any numbers until a vaccine is available and that at least at the beginning, people will have to prove that they are vaccinated before boarding. This may eleimnate some folks from cruising that cannot take the vaccine. 

You're also assuming there will be a vaccine that will be close to 100% effective. 

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20 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

It is just like a family that does not have to social distance.  If you do a pre-cruise isolation together (maybe 7 days since they would be tested before leaving home) - board the ship together and room together, there should not be a problem (unless you catch it from someone else which is no different than a husband, wife or child getting sick and bringing it home).  

The only way to achieve that with crew then its not allowing them to get off the ship

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4 minutes ago, cruiseluv said:

The only way to achieve that with crew then its not allowing them to get off the ship

 

That is likely true.  Regent states that they are working with tour operators to insure that where their guests visit on excursion but there are no plans (that I have seen) for passengers or crew that just want to go to a store, restaurant or walk around.  This does need to be addressed.

 

Note:  Hapag-Lloyd (a luxury cruise line but is not one that I would sail on) is doing two cruises to nowhere.  I would be happy to do such a cruise on Regent.  We are doing (hopefully) a transatlantic cruise in March and, depending upon the state of the virus in the world, may not get off of the ship.

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5 minutes ago, cruiseluv said:

The only way to achieve that with crew then its not allowing them to get off the ship

Umm, MSC apparently feels that's do-able.  I mean, it's inhumane to most people, and certainly should be appalling to those cruisers who feel that the crew welcomes and treats them as 'family', but....and of course doesn't address the issue of all those passengers coming to the ship, who knows if they're infected, no doubt not wearing masks every minute of the day, and probably getting well within six feet of crew members.  

 

With any luck, the idea of so treating crew is totally forbidden.  How anyone could enjoy their trip knowing that the crew is trapped is hard for me to wrap my head around.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/it-s-inhumane-crew-members-who-return-to-work-may-have-to-forgo-shore-visits/ar-BB17iwLG#:~:text=A spokesperson for MSC Cruises confirmed in an,an emergency during the company’s “initial phased restart.”

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18 minutes ago, cruiseluv said:

The only way to achieve that with crew then its not allowing them to get off the ship

or interact with or provide housekeeping services for passengers who have gotten off the ship.

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10 minutes ago, greykitty said:

Umm, MSC apparently feels that's do-able.  I mean, it's inhumane to most people, and certainly should be appalling to those cruisers who feel that the crew welcomes and treats them as 'family', but....and of course doesn't address the issue of all those passengers coming to the ship, who knows if they're infected, no doubt not wearing masks every minute of the day, and probably getting well within six feet of crew members.  

 

With any luck, the idea of so treating crew is totally forbidden.  How anyone could enjoy their trip knowing that the crew is trapped is hard for me to wrap my head around.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/it-s-inhumane-crew-members-who-return-to-work-may-have-to-forgo-shore-visits/ar-BB17iwLG#:~:text=A spokesperson for MSC Cruises confirmed in an,an emergency during the company’s “initial phased restart.”

If the guests get off and end up getting this highly contagious aerosolized virus, the staff (as well as fellow passengers) will probably end up getting it anyway.  As has now been shown, masks are just one of the protective measures we should utilize.  Many scientists/clinicians are now saying that when in close proximity situations, eye protection (such as goggles) should be used. I know we all enjoy cruising, but there is a reality to the science. 

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Again, all the naysayers having their say....

We will all wait to hear when and where and how we can cruise again from the CDC. 
Don’t  you think that the regular Regent cruisers on this site are intelligent enough to understand that? 
We just want to dream a bit and reminisce about the good old days. 
We would hope you newbies want the same... not the continued negativity. 
sheila

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21 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

Again, all the naysayers having their say....

We will all wait to hear when and where and how we can cruise again from the CDC. 
Don’t  you think that the regular Regent cruisers on this site are intelligent enough to understand that? 
We just want to dream a bit and reminisce about the good old days. 
We would hope you newbies want the same... not the continued negativity. 
sheila

Sheila,

I am not new to Regent cruises and I feel that myself and others can talk about the current situation being discussed on this thread, be the person new to cruising with Regent or not. This is our current reality in cruising.....good to know what might work and what will not. I am sure the CDC is following what is happening in Europe.

 

I too want to dream about our next cruise and, in fact some, of the pictures I posted to another thread were from our Regent WC. I am finally working on the book I make after each big (long) trip we take.

 

Carolyn

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

Note:  Hapag-Lloyd (a luxury cruise line but is not one that I would sail on) is doing two cruises to nowhere.

 

We have good friends from Hamburg booked on the Europa 2 this month ; will report back what we hear from them as to whether the Hurtigruten situation changes anything.  

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I’m with you Carolyn.  I would suggest that folks who don’t want to have these discussions stay away from these topics. It is easy as that. 

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1 hour ago, cruiseluv said:

The only way to achieve that with crew then its not allowing them to get off the ship

And to keep all passengers on the ship at all times. If one thinks that the tour operators are going to be able to control all contacts, dream on. I’ve read where people on tours often leave the tour and go on their own mid tour. There is no way that everyone on a cruise ship is going to obey all the rules onboard (better chance) and in port. I read a poll today that only 1 in 4 people would be willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine once it’s available.

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57 minutes ago, Bellaggio Cruisers said:

We would hope you newbies want the same...

 

As someone new to Regent I most certainly am trying to be optimistic; when our October Mariner sailing was cancelled we chose to rebook for Dec 2021, and likely will make it a back to back in our desire to get to know Regent (and our pent up demand for a longer cruise).  We’re getting used to the idea that we won’t know when the next cruise is, but we are pretty confident that we will be back onboard in a way that delivers a memorable vacation and a safe one.  

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