Corona Virus & Cruising Update 14

February 2020, The cruise industry is being seriously impacted by the coronavirus. Keep up to date on the latest news from cruise ports around the world.

Centered in China the corona virus (now named “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease”) is of particular concern in the area around the South China Sea and has a serious impact on the cruise industry.

There is as much hysteria regarding cruising and the corona virus as there is accurate information.


After reading a number of reports and looking at the data, it seems that there are two epidemics. The first is the corona virus in China which represents over 99% of the cases and the second is the rest of the world. While the China data indicates a major epidemic there are suggestions that the numbers are at least understated and could be seriously manipulated for a number of mostly political purposes. With its ease of transmission and a death rate slightly above 2% every country on Earth has aggressively moved to isolate the virus in China, so far with fair success.

The cruise industry was right in quickly cutting Chinese ports from their itineraries and refusing passengers boarding who had recently been in China.

Based on this information we are adjusting our data to reflect the two epidemics. The more relevant data on cases outside China are on the left side and Totals & China on the right.

Centered in China the corona virus (now named “2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease”) is of particular concern in the area around the South China Sea and has a serious impact on the cruise industry.

There is as much hysteria regarding cruising and the corona virus as there is accurate information.

We have been watching the news and have been doing daily updates on the virus and the cruise industry. Following are our updates:


Two Epidemics

After reading a number of reports and looking at the data, it seems that there are two epidemics. The first is the corona virus in China which represents over 99% of the cases and the second is the rest of the world. While the China data indicates a major epidemic there are suggestions that the numbers are at least understated and could be seriously manipulated for a number of mostly political purposes. With its ease of transmission and a death rate slightly above 2% every country on Earth has aggressively moved to isolate the virus in China, so far with good success.

The cruise industry was right in quickly cutting Chinese ports from their itineraries and refusing passengers boarding who had recently been in China.

Based on this information we are adjusting our data to reflect the two epidemics. The more relevant data on cases outside China are on the left side and Totals & China on the right.

Corona virus data as of 11am February 27th EST

While there are increasing incidents recently where health officials are having problems figuring out where some of the new cases were exposed to the virus, the data is trending toward an improving situation. The three countries where the disease is of specific concern are Japan, South Korea, Iran and Italy. For the fifth day since the outbreak began the number of recovered cases now exceeds the number of active reported new cases (1,430 to 687) and that continues to improve daily. There also seems to be a range of the percentage of deaths among the infected that indicates perhaps a difference in the effectiveness of health care between countries. The recognized number seems to be about 2.2%

There are a number of countries where the numbers on corona virus seem to be outliers without concerning the spread and death rate of this disease.

Outlier Countries

Italy is one and the best explanation is that they were very slow to understand the problem. The primary case presented to a hospital twice over a weeks time and was sent home. That one person explains most of the cases. The death rate in Italy also seems to be related to that delay in recognizing the cases.

South Korea is also a concern because of the rapid spread and the rising death rate but there doesn’t seem to be enough details as to how quickly the government identified the cases and what immediate action they took.

Iran seems to have deliberately ignored the problem for political purposes. Word of the disease in the country would have interfered with their national elections which were already in trouble with an extremely low turn-out. In an effort to turn out voters they helped spread the virus and delayed treatment.

The spread of the corona virus throughout most of the world’s countries seems to be actually only a few cases. Adding up those cases shows a limited spread and a current death rate of under 1%.

One example is the United States where they are now reporting 60 cases. 42 of those cases are actually Americans that were evacuated from the Diamond Princess in Japan. That leaves 18 additional cases and 14 of those were people put into isolation after returning from recent trips to China. In spite of the news this demonstrates that the U.S. is actually doing a remarkable job of containing this disease for now.

Data Outside China & Hong Kong

Total Cases Outside China, Macau & Hong Kong – 1,905* (a gain of 254**)

Total Cases Recovered Outside China, Macau & Hong Kong 237

Deaths Outside China, Macau & Hong Kong 37

Days Since First Known Case 76

*this number does not include the Diamond Princess cases which are considered a unique and extreme environment.

Total Worldwide Cases

Total Recorded Cases 82,548 (up from 80,350 on the 25th and 79,773 on the 24th).

Total Worldwide Recovered 33,252 (up from 27,878 on the 25th).

Total Deaths 2,810 (worldwide about 50 per day).

Cases in China, Hong Kong & Macau

Cases In China 78,497 down from 78,966 on the 25th. The first time there has been a drop reported

Deaths in China & Hong Kong 2,691

Cruise ships and The Corona Virus

February 27 Update

Recent reports concerning the State Department and CDC advisories have been overstated. While there are recommendations against travel to China and South Korea, beyond that they are simply saying to be cautious in travel.

The State Department also has an advisory about cruising which simply states they have, so far worked to assist cruise ships and evacuate passengers and you should not depend on them doing this in the future…

February 25 Update

The U.S. has currently reported 53 cases, including 36 passengers from a quarantined cruise ship in Japan (Diamond Princess). That leaves a total of 17 cases that were discovered inside the U.S. with an estimated 12 likely infected in China.

As of this morning, there were at least 634 confirmed cases of coronavirus associated with the Diamond Princess. 3 deaths with all three victims being Japanese 80 years old or older. Nobody has been declared recovered but a significant number have actually remained symptom free.

The Italian cases seem to be located in two areas in northeast Italy

February 24 Update

Late yesterday the U.S. State Department issued travel advisories. They recommended that all Americans not travel to Japan and South Korea and have advised Americans with small children, immune-compromised individuals and seniors to not travel internationally at all at this time.

Because of the unusual number of cases reported now in Italy a number of cruise lines are considering moving their ships to other Mediterranean ports soon. No specific information is currently available.

February 23 Update

The cases and actions involving the Diamond Princess are now being considered a case study in how NOT to deal with a situation like this. The decision to quarantine everyone on the ship now seems to have created an environment that concentrated and spread the virus. There is also controversy regarding efforts to evacuate and hospitalize these people.

February 21 Update

In the last 24 hours eight additional countries have now reported cases of corona virus with most being single cases.

Maersk, the worlds largest ocean freight company, announced this morning that their ships will now stop calling on ports in China and several other ports in Asia until further notice.

February 20 Update

Virtually all cruise lines have canceled or altered scheduled sailings to China and in and around Asia as corona virus continues its spread in China and over 25 other countries.

Cruise lines, working with the Cruise Lines International Association (which represents about 90% of cruise ships now sailing), have all implemented precautions by canceling sailings, rerouting itineraries, restricting passenger and crew boarding, and implementing enhanced screening procedures for all passengers boarding. In addition, a number of ports in Asia and the South Pacific are barring ships with any suspected coronavirus onboard from docking.

Since the Holland America Westerdam was finally permitted to dock in Cambodia and allowed its passengers to disembark it has been discovered that one case has been confirmed among the disembarked passengers.

A new update reports a total of 551 cases of the virus have been identified among the 3,711 quarantined passengers and crew of Diamond Princess in Japan.

February 19 Update

621 cases currently confirmed among those remaining on the Diamond Princess at Japan. 14 of the evacuated Americans back in the U.S. have tested positive for corona virus.

We are now receiving reports from cruise passengers that were in Asia when Corona Virus outbreaks first began on how the cruise ships handled the changes regarding itineraries, refunds and credits and will report on some soon.

February 18 Update

Today the data shows a continueing flattening in the numbers of new cases and more increase in the number of those now recovered.

There aren’t any additional cruise ship port cancellations or itinerary changes from yesterday.

February 17 Update

Today the data shows a significant flattening in the numbers of new cases and some increase in the number of those now recovered.

The plane carrying the American passengers from the Diamond Princess in Japan arrived back in the United States. Those passengers will now be kept in quarantine for 2 weeks.

There doesn’t seem to be any additional cruise ship port cancellations or itinerary changes from yesterday.

February 16 Update

The United States is executing a plan to bring all 380 American passengers home from the Diamond Princess in Japan.

There don’t seem to be any additional cancellations or itinerary changes from yesterday.

February 15 Update

Vietnam turned away two ships from docking, citing the need to prevent the virus from entering the country. The ships included the German-owned AIDAvita and the Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Jade. Communications from passengers on board both cruise ships claim there are no virus cases on board.

Royal Caribbean has now cancelled 18 more cruises in Southeast Asia after calling off eight other cruise trips to China last week.

The Norwegian Spirit has cancelled its March cruise to Singapore and will reposition to Greece, and all its Asia itineraries from April through December 2020 have also been cancelled.

Similarly, P&O Cruises’ Arcadia has removed stops in Shanghai and Hong Kong in March and has not yet announced replacements.

Other cruise ships re-routings include the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 which has now cancelled a stop in Singapore scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, and is sailing now to Fremantle, Australia. The Queen Elizabeth, has announced calling off stops in Hong Kong and Shanghai through April 4. No additional revised itineraries have been announced.

Most cruise lines are now instituting increased safety measures like denying permission to board to booked guests who have been through mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau in the preceding two weeks, and initiating mandatory health screenings of guests felt at risk due to their travel history.

February 14 Update

Holland America’s MS Westerdam began to disembark Passengers early this morning at the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia after being stranded at sea because of a port visit to Hong Kong.

The Diamond Princess at Japan, as of noon, is still reporting 218 total cases with no deaths or recoveries.

February 13 Update

60,349 total cases as of this morning. That represents an increase of about 15,000 cases. This is statistically not likely to be a new cases but a change in the number reported by China.

The Diamond Princess in Japan is now reporting 218 total cases.

Holland America Westerdam has now docked in Cambodia but what is happening with the passengers is still not clear.

On the positive side – WHO and CDC are now reporting that in about 85% of the cases, outside China, the CoronaVirus can be characterized as a typical case of the flu requiring no real medical intervention or treatment.


February 12 Update

There have been a number of serious issues involving cruise ships over the past few weeks and as of February 12 here’s what information is available:

On January 30 the Costa Crociere was quarantined in Italy after passengers from Macau were suspected of being infected but later tested negative for coronavirus.

February 2 The Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas docked in Bayonne with a number of passengers who were quarantined due to coronavirus concerns. They have now tested negative and Anthem has sailed again.

February 3 the Diamond Princess arrived in Yokohama with a few passengers sick with CoronaVirus. The ship was put in quarantine and everyone was tested for CoronaVirus. Within a few days there were a number of additional cases and the ship was forced to put out to sea. At last count there were 74 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus onboard and the ship remains stuck at sea.

Holland Americas Ship Without A Port – The Westerdam made a port call 28 days ago in Hong Kong and was refused entry into the Philippines after that. As of today they have remained at sea without a port willing to take them even though they report no coronavirus onboard. Even the U.S. is not allowing them to go to Guam.

Celebrity Cruises Millennium bound from Dubai to Singapore has changed its itinerary three days ago and will now return to Dubai instead of going on to Singapore. The Millenniums next several cruises have been changed and will be cruising in and out of Dubai instead of back and forth to Singapore.

If your plans include a cruise in Asia in the next month or two you should contact your cruise line for updates.

On December 8th 2019, 41 cases with a respiratory viral infection where identified in Hubei, China. Within a week it was identified as a coronavirus.

As of noon February 14th EST Coronavirus data:

Total Recorded Cases 64,460 (up from 60,349 yesterday and 45,210 the day before).

Total Deaths 1,384 (1,373 as of yesterday).

Days Since First Case 67

Cases In China 63,866 (up from 59,822 yesterday).

Total Recovered 7,171 (up from 6,260 yesterday).

Deaths Outside China 1

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