Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten made headlines around the world when it became among the very first cruise ships to operate during the pandemic.
In a massive setback to cruise operations worldwide, 35 crew members, along with 1 passenger onboard tested COVID-19 positive.
“We are very sorry, “said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten.
Passengers on board the ship, numbering 400, are now facing a 10-day quarantine. The company has been critiqued online for their slackness in contacting passengers, saying that matters like these should receive urgent attention.
Additionally, four crew members have been hospitalized after contracting the deadly virus. This raised a growing fear in Norway in anticipation of a resurgence in cases.
Most of the crew members infected originated from the Philippines.
“There was no reason to suspect COVID-19 when the ship docked in Tromso based on the symptoms they were showing, ” said a Hurtigruten spokesperson, hinting that the company was caught off guard owing to the sudden outbreak.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health requested passengers to stay quarantined while results are en route.
Hurtigruten’s decision to roll back into the cruise industry has backfired, and now a potential public health crisis looms over the horizon. This could prove as a PR disaster for the company, which recently made a series of announcements on new cruise routes in Europe for 2021.