Passengers and crew — apart from crew needed to operate the ship — on board the SeaDream I are quarantined on board after a passenger from a previous voyage tested positive for COVID-19, SeaDream Yacht Club announced in a statement on its website Wednesday.
SeaDream informed current passengers and crew Wednesday that one passenger tested positive after arriving home in Denmark following disembarkation from SeaDream I in Tromsø, Norway on Sunday.
The ship, which has the capacity to hold up to 112 passengers, according to CruiseMapper, was on a subsequent journey when the test results emerged. That voyage has since been canceled and the SeaDream I is on its way to Bodø, Norway, according to the statement.
“We sincerely hope that there is no COVID-19 on board, and we are not aware of any other guests or crew who are infected or have any symptoms, but we are taking all necessary precautions," the line said in a statement. "All guests and crew were informed, as well as the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Norwegian Directorate of Health as soon as we received the information this afternoon.”
The cruise line is in the process of contacting passengers who had been on board the impacted voyage that ended on Aug. 2.
Most of the global cruise industry remains on pause as coronavirus continues to sweep the world, but some cruise lines have begun to resume operations in international waters. And while ships are sailing with new precautions, problems because of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, are already on the rise.
At least 45 people from Hurtigruten cruise test positive
At least 45 people who were aboard Hurtigruten's MS Roald Amundsen cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19.
Thirty-six crew members have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Øystein Knoph, spokesperson for Hurtigruten. Nine passengers have also tested positive for COVID-19 since it became clear that there was an outbreak on board, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The nine passengers are from six counties around Norway. Thirty-three of the 36 crew members who tested positive are Filipino and the remaining three are Norwegian, German and French citizens.
Passengers from two separate voyages on the ship had already disembarked on July 24 and on Friday to begin their voyages home before the cruise line contacted passengers about the initial COVID-19 cases.
CEO of Hurtigruten Daniel Skjeldam said the cruise line failed and made mistakes in a statement on Monday. They thought the line was well-prepared amid the coronavirus pandemic, though a preliminary review of what happened on the MS Roald Amundsen shows deviations from their established procedures.
The cruise company announced Monday it would suspend all expedition cruises though its coastal Norway operations have not been impacted.
Skjeldam said in a statement the decision was the only responsible choice until the company can be sure it can execute its cruises while meeting all standards from the government and the even stricter requirements Hurtigruten has set for itself.
Skjeldam added: "To our guests, employees and everyone who loves Hurtigruten, I want to apologize for this." The company will engage in a full external review of what happened, as well as take a look at procedures at Hurtigruten.
It’s not clear how the MS Roald Amundsen outbreak began, and passengers were from all over the world.
All 158 crew members on the ship were tested for COVID-19, according to the cruise line. Four crew members are hospitalized at the University Hospital of North Norway, with three recovering and expected to be discharged soon.
Because the cruise line often acts like a local ferry, traveling from port to port along Norway’s west coast, some passengers disembarked along the route and may have spread the virus to local communities. A total of 69 municipalities in Norway could have been affected, Norwegian news agency NTB reported on Monday.
Two new cases were reported ashore, according to the city of Trondheim, saying both had been passengers on the ship. Trondheim sits about halfway to Tromsø, north of the Arctic Circle, where the empty ship is docked.
The Hurtigruten cruise line was one of the first companies to resume sailing during the pandemic, starting cruises to Norway out of northern Germany in June with a single ship, then adding cruises in July to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard that is part of the Scandinavian country.
The leading industry organization, Cruise Lines International Association, will eventually release a mandatory policy on how to handle COVID-19 prevention and outbreaks on board ships. But right now, its cruise line members are deploying company-specific protocols based on advice of governments, health authorities and experts.
"Resumption is extremely limited so far, and sailings that are taking place must follow the requirements and approval conditions of national authorities," Bari Golin-Blaugrund, senior director of strategic communications, told USA TODAY.
Paul Gauguin cruise passengers test negative, begin disembarking
After a 22-year-old American woman tested positive for the coronavirus aboard a cruise ship in Tahiti, all other passengers and crew on board the MS Paul Gauguin have tested negative and some have begun to disembark to enter a seven-day quarantine, the cruise line announced Tuesday.
The infected passenger, who was asymptomatic, was confined in a special cabin before disembarking with her mother to a hotel to remain in isolation offshore, according to a statement from the Paul Gauguin cruise line shared with USA TODAY by spokesperson Lauren Wintemberg.
Following the discovery of the infection, the 340 passengers and crew members aboard the MS Paul Gauguin, the cruise line's flagship boat, underwent tests and were confined to their cabins pending results.
The ship returned Sunday morning to the departure port in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti, it said, where they began seven days of quarantine and before undergoing new tests.
All foreign passengers were required to take two tests before boarding The Gauguin, according to the cruise line. The first was done within three days of an international flight and a second was administered four days after arrival in French Polynesia.
Crew members can quarantine on board for one week. All passengers and crew who have been on the ship will be required to be retested within one week, according to crew members, noted in a statement from the cruise line shared with USA TODAY by spokesperson Lauren Wintemberg.
French Polynesia reopened last month to visitors but requires them to take a test before entry and again four days after arriving.
MS Fridtjof Nansen crew, who reported cases of cold symptoms test negative
Hurtigruten's expedition cruise MS Fridtjof Nansen announced Monday that four crew members had been isolated on the ship after reporting mild cold symptoms. These crew members all tested negative for COVID-19.
The entire crew was given coronavirus tests, the first of which were delivered ashore Tuesday for analysis in Alesund, Norway, press officer Øystein Knoph said a news release from the cruise line. Guests are all offered and encouraged to get tested and have been asked to remain in their cabins for the time being, Knoph added.
The two-week round trip cruise from Hamburg travels along the Norwegian coast and is currently nearing Alesund. It has 171 passengers and 162 crew on board.
MS Spitsbergen has no suspected cases, plans to test everyone
The MS Spitsbergen, another expedition cruise ship in Hurtigruten's fleet, does not have any suspected cases of the coronavirus but plans to test every person on board, Knoph said in the release.
The ship is expected to dock Thursday in Tromsø, Norway, where all passengers and crew will remain on board until they test negative. Knoph stressed taking all necessary precautions despite a lack of reason to believe there were any cases of the virus present on the ship.
The ship was set to receive testing equipment on Monday but fog blocked the plane with the equipment from landing.
Sixty-four guests and 20 crew members are on board the ship. Of the passengers, most are Norwegian and the rest hail from other European countries. Forty-six crew members are Filipino citizens, 20 are Norwegian and four are from Europe.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SeaDream: Ship quarantined after former passenger is COVID-19 positive