COVID-19 Case Aboard Cruise Ship Paul Gauguin Confirmed

The Paul Gauguin (file image courtesy Paul Gauguin Cruises)
The Paul Gauguin (file image courtesy Paul Gauguin Cruises)

Published Aug 3, 2020 2:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

The suspected coronavirus case aboard the cruise ship Paul Gauguin has been confirmed, according to the High Commission for the Republic of French Polynesia. He has been removed from the vessel for isolation, along with the family member who shared his cabin. 

All individuals who were known to have had direct contact with the positive case have been tested, and the results for all of them have come back negative. The remaining passengers and crew have also given swabs for testing and the results should be known Monday (local time). 

For the interim, all passengers and crew are quarantined in their cabins on board. 

At the time the case was detected, Paul Gauguin was on her very first voyage with international customers since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown. She was forced to turn around and return to Papeete, Tahiti for testing and quarantine. Her passengers disembarked during a port call in Bora Bora and had interactions with the local population, according to France Info 1. 

The news of the suspected case on board Paul Gauguin comes as Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten - one of the first lines to reopen - is dealing with an outbreak of its own. After several crewmembers aboard the cruise ship Roald Amundsen tested positive in Tromso, Norway last week, comprehensive testing revealed that at least 36 crewmembers and five passengers had contracted the virus.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) predicts that the total number of cases connected to the Roald Amundsen's voyage will grow, as the vessel called at dozens of small ports along the Norwegian coastline over the course of the past several weeks. Hurtigruten has suspended expedition cruising aboard three vessels while an inquiry continues.