Cruise industry draws spell in Southeast Asia
Shipping companies redirect their ships – some not only avoid China and Hong Kong, but also ports in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. TUI Cruises massively tightened the onboard rules. What travelers need to know now.
Status: 9:48 p.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes
KReuzfahrt passengers heading Southeast Asia are currently on unsafe planks: After the umbrella organization of the cruise industry (CLIA) gave its members more stringent travel recommendations, more and more large shipping companies are considering rerouting their ships. After initial hesitation, German organizers are now pulling the ripcord.
Aida Cruises said, “Until further notice, there will be no ports in China or Hong Kong”. Currently, this would affect the trip of “Aida Vita” and two trips of “Aida Bella” in March. All guests have already been informed of the route changes.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises currently has no ship in the region. A start-up of “Bremen” in the Chinese port city of Shanghai is not planned until May, but alternative options are currently being examined, said Negar Etminan, Head of Corporate Communications.
There are also considerations for a detour for “Mein Schiff 6” (TUI Cruises), which is scheduled to set sail from Singapore for Vietnam on March 5 and will anchor in Hong Kong for two days on March 11 after several stops. On WELT’s request, the press office confirmed to consider “alternative routes”. One has to “closely monitor the development of the situation in Hong Kong”.
Shipping companies are tightening rules for cruise passengers
With less than 100 infections, the autonomous Chinese port city is affected by the epidemic to a much lesser extent than mainland China, but according to the local authorities, it is insufficiently prepared for further emergencies, according to the local authorities. It is very likely that TUI Cruises will take Hong Kong off the route plan, especially since the shipping company follows the recommendations of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
On February 7, the cruise industry governing body, which includes 90 percent of all ocean liners, advised its members to “deny boarding to anyone” within 14 days of embarkation from or via China, including Hong Kong and Macau , have traveled or traveled through airports in these regions ”.
TUI Cruises wants to go further and extend the period mentioned to 28 days, said press spokeswoman Friederike Grönemeyer WELT. Unfortunately, guests and crew members who had had contact with people who had recently been in China in the last 28 days before the start of the trip could not travel on board either.
On Monday, “China Daily”, citing the renowned expert Zhong Nanshan, reported that the incubation period for the new corona virus could in rare cases be up to 24 days, which is ten days more than previously assumed.
At Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Aida Cruises, the 14-day rule recommended by the CLIA applies for the time being. All travelers over the age of 18 must submit a written health declaration upon embarkation. Anyone who “intentionally makes a false, fictitious or fraudulent statement” must face fines, the form says.
Cruises with changed routes
According to information from the industry portal “Reise vor 9”, Norwegian Cruise Line canceled the entire “Norwegian Spirit” Asia program. Costa Crociere also canceled all trips departing from China, the regulation initially applies until the end of February.
Celebrity Cruises not only lets its ships pass China, but also Singapore and Thailand, writes the travel portal “Travel Weekly”, although in both countries the number of infected people is “only” in the double digits so far.
And it is not out of the question that the cruise companies will significantly expand the Southeast Asian “spell circle” around China. The shipping company Cunard instructed the “Queen Mary 2” to avoid Malaysia as well as the ports of Singapore and Thailand. With almost two dozen infected people, Malaysia is affected by the epidemic to the same extent as Germany (currently 16 infected).
A stroll could also threaten the “Aida Vita”. After the shipping company banned her from going to China and Hong Kong, Vietnam has now banned Vietnam from being loaded into Halong Bay, according to the German press agency. Thailand and Singapore are now on the program – the outcome of the random walk is therefore open.
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