Princess Cruises suspends operations, cancelling nine Hilo visits

Princess Cruises will suspend all cruise operations for two months in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which infected passengers on two of its ships earlier this year.

The cruise line, which operates 16 ocean cruises and 70 vessels overall, operates the Diamond Princess — which had more than 700 people on board test positive for the virus last month — and the Grand Princess, which had 21 confirmed coronavirus cases earlier this week.

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According to a statement from Princess Cruises, cruises will be suspended until May 10, although current voyages will continue to sail through their current itineraries. Any cruises scheduled to last until beyond March 17 will end where the company determines to be most convenient.

“By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world,” read a statement by Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz.

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Between today and May 10, there were nine scheduled port calls for Princess Cruises ships at Hilo Harbor, beginning with a planned stop by the Star Princess next Wednesday, while two port calls were scheduled at Kailua-Kona.

According to Swartz’s statement, the cruise line will allow passengers booked on one of its cancelled cruises to transfer all of their cruise payments to a future cruise of their choice, or request a cash refund.

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