Coronavirus: Royal Caribbean cancels more cruises

Officials with Royal Caribbean International announced more cancellations Friday of upcoming cruises, citing “ongoing COVID-related circumstances around the world.”

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In an update posted online Friday, Royal Caribbean said the decision to cancel sailings as far out as March 5 was made “in an abundance of caution.”

“We regret having to cancel our guests’ long-awaited vacations and appreciate their loyalty and understanding,” company officials said. “Our top priority is always the well-being of our guests, our crew and the communities we visit.”

>> Related: Norwegian, Royal Caribbean cancel cruises amid omicron surge

Royal Caribbean announced the following schedule changes:

  • Vision of the Seas’ return to cruising was postponed until March 7.
  • Serenade of the Seas sailings from Jan. 8 to March 5 were canceled, with plans for cruises to resume after April 26.
  • Jewel of the Seas sailings from Jan. 9 to Feb. 12 were canceled. Voyages are expected to resume Feb. 20.
  • Symphony of the Seas sailings from Jan. 8 to Jan. 22 were canceled, with plans announced for them to resume on Jan. 29.

>> Related: Coronavirus: Thousands held on cruise ship after COVID-19 scare

Previously, Royal Caribbean canceled the Spectrum of the Seas cruise scheduled to embark Jan. 6, after officials in Hong Kong announced that nine people onboard the ship had been identified as close contacts of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, Reuters reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel health notice late last month urging people to avoid traveling on cruise ships regardless of vaccination status, saying that “the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high.”

>> Related: CDC says to avoid cruises no matter COVID-19 vaccine status

“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships,” the notice says. “It is especially important that travelers who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 avoid travel on cruise ships, including river cruises, worldwide, regardless of vaccination status.”

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