Coral Princess Docks in Miami With Two Dead Onboard

ILA Longshore Members of Local 1416 Miami help Coronavirus stricken passengers off Coral Princess.
ILA Longshore Members of Local 1416 Miami help Coronavirus stricken passengers off Coral Princess.

Published Apr 5, 2020 6:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Coral Princess has docked at PortMiami after being refused permission to dock in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The vessel has 1,000 passengers and 878 crew onboard - two are dead and at least 12 have tested positive for COVID-19. At least one person has now been rushed to hospital.

The vessel had been waiting near Puerto Rico, outside U.S. waters, for permission to dock. She had been at sea for nearly two weeks after departing Buenos Aires where only South American passengers were allowed to disembark. 

Princess Cruises has issued a statement saying guest disembarkation began on April 4 and continues over the weekend - limited to those departing on chartered flights arranged by Princess Cruises to California, Australia and the U.K.

“Overnight, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) communicated changes to their policy regarding post-disembarkation travel for cruise passengers, recommending no travel via commercial flights nor shared transportation with non-cruise guests,” said the cruise line.

“Princess Cruises continues to work tirelessly to adjust the repatriation plan to meet the new CDC requirements. This will unfortunately result in further delays in disembarkation and onward travel for many guests as we work through this complex, challenging and unfortunate situation.”

All passengers are being screened as directed by the CDC before disembarkation of the vessel. During disembarkation, and until they reach their homes, they are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing measures.

Those with respiratory symptoms, or who are still recovering, will remain on board until medically cleared by the ship’s doctors. 

Coral Princess departed March 5 from San Antonio (Santiago) for a South America voyage which was scheduled to end in Buenos Aires on March 19. In response to the global spread of COVID-19, Princess Cruises announced a voluntary 60-day pause of operations on March 12, becoming one of the first companies in the leisure travel industry to take this measure. Coral Princess remained in service longer than previously expected, until arriving at the Port of Miami, due to a series of port closures, airline cancellations and other actions taken, which impacted the onward travel home of the guests and crew onboard.