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Seven Crewmembers Test Positive Aboard U.S.-Flagged Cruise Ship

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Pride of America (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 04-10-2020 10:04:22

The U.S.-flagged cruise ship Pride of America has seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 among her crew, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Two have disembarked and have been taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, and the others are in isolation on board. 

About 500 crewmembers are on board the Honolulu-based Pride of America, and they are taking social-distancing measures to reduce the risk of spread. No passengers have been on the vessel since March 14. 

Almost all large U.S.-based cruise ships are foreign-built, -flagged, -owned and -crewed, and Pride of America is the rare exception. She was partially built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi, then towed to Germany for completion at Lloyd Werft. She is Jones Act-qualified, allowing her to conduct cruises between multiple ports in Hawaii. 

Most of the ship's crewmembers are U.S. citizens, and authorities in Hawaii have set up procedures to return them to their home states when they depart the ship. About 300 American crewmembers are set to disembark, and they will be required to head directly to the Honolulu airport for a flight home. Once they reach their final destinations, they must self-quarantine for 14 days.

The remaining 200 crewmembers aboard Pride of America will be sailing the ship back to the mainland, where she will enter drydock. 

Pacific Princess makes port call in Hawaii

Separately, the cruise ship Pacific Princess is set to arrive in Honolulu on April 13 to take on fuel and supplies. When she arrives, she will have been at sea continuously for more than 14 days, the standard quarantine period. 

Though Hawaii is not generally allowing cruise ships to disembark passengers, the Hawaii Department of Transportation is making an exception for four residents of Oahu, who will be permitted to return to their homes. They will be subject to a medical exam while onboard and a second exam after leaving, and will then be brought directly to their houses for a second 14 day self-quarantine period. 

The remaining 111 passengers and all of the vessel's crewmembers will not be allowed to leave the ship while in Hawaii. Instead, the Pacific Princess will proceed to her final destination in California.

Pacific Princess is one of a handful of cruise ships still operating with passengers on board, along with the Costa Deliziosa, Greg Mortimer, Columbus, MSC Magnifica, Astor, Arcadia and the Queen Mary 2.