Over 2,000 Passengers Have Disembarked From Coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess Cruise (Video)
Over 2,000 passengers have disembarked from the Grand Princess cruise ship that was quarantined off the coast of San Francisco due to fear of spreading coronavirus.
The Grand Princess ship that was carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crew — with a reported 21 cases of the virus on board — docked in Oakland, Calif. on March 9.
Their three-day quarantine was sparked by the death of a passenger who had taken a cruise from San Francisco to Mexico on the same ship last month. Since his death, 19 crew members and two passengers were diagnosed with coronavirus.
According to NBC Bay Area, passengers who exit the ship would be bused or flown to the nearest military base or medical facility for a 14-day quarantine in either California, Texas, or Georgia. The crew members will be treated aboard the ship when in a different port.
“There will be no contact with the general population terminals at Oakland Airport,” Newsom told the Los Angeles Times.
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The cruise hosted passengers from 54 countries — foreigners are allowed to fly directly home. The disembarking process will take a few days.
"All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the federal, state and local authorities who are coordinating, collaborating and activating resources and personnel in support of this response to provide care and attend to the health and well-being of our guests and crew," Jan Swartz, the president of Princess Cruises, said in a statement.
The fatality that stemmed from the voyage also prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency.
As disembark from the Grand Princess, the cruise line said a voyage that was supposed to depart March 7 to Hawaii on the same ship has been canceled and those passengers received a full refund on that itinerary. The cruise line will also consider reimbursing expenses like airline change fees on a case-by-case basis. Those guests will also receive a credit for a future cruise equal to 100 percent of the fare they paid for the canceled voyage.
For all other Princess Cruises up to April 3, guests can cancel up to 72 hours before their sailing date and receive a credit toward a future cruise of 100 percent of the cancellation fees. For cruises set to depart between April 4 and May 31, guests can cancel up to March 31 for the same offer.
Passengers who decide to sail between March 6 and May 31 anyway will receive up to $200 per cabin in onboard credit, depending on how long the cruise is.
More than 500 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the U.S. and 22 have died.