Grand Princess barred from returning to home port

Cruise liner Grand Princess (IMO 9104005) has been barred from returning to her home port of San Francisco, California after she was found to have carried two passengers who had contracted Covid-19. The passengers had already disembarked.

The vessel was barred on Wednesday March 4th after at least 20 people aboard fell ill. The vessel was returning from a trip to Hawaii.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said the cruise ship would remain at sea until passengers and crew complaining of Covid-19-consistent symptoms could be tested to determine whether they have it.

Two passengers who travelled on the vessel on a previous voyage last month between San Francisco and Mexico later fell ill and tested positive for the coronavirus. Health officials have said that they probably contracted the illness aboard the vessel. One, a 71-year-old male from Placer County near Sacramento, who had underlying health conditions, died this week, the first documented coronavirus fatality in California. The other, from the San Francisco Bay area, was described by Newsom as gravely sick.

Coronavirus testing kits will be flown out to the ship and flown back with samples to be analyzed at a state laboratory in the San Francisco Bay area, a process which Newsom said should produce results in a matter of hours.

Eleven passengers and 10 crew members had reported symptoms that could turn out to be the coronavirus, seasonal flu or the common cold, Newsom said.

Newsom said state health authorities, working with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were trying to contact some 2,500 passengers who were on that earlier voyage.

The ship would now be held off shore, “a distance away, until all the testing and the new protocols and regimes are put into place to secure their arrival”.

Depending on the outcome of the tests, it might be directed to an arrival point other than San Francisco, said Newsom, noting that the manifest for the ship’s Hawaii cruise included 50 to 60 passengers who were also on board the Mexico voyage.

1998-built, Bermuda-flagged, 107,517gt Grand Princess is owned by Fairline Shipping International Corp care of manager Princess Cruise Lines Ltd of Valencia, California, USA. It is entered with Gard on behalf of Princess Cruise Lines. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Division) on behalf of Princess Cruise Lines Ltd.  It is entered with UK Club (Area Group Americas G7) on behalf of Carnival Corp.

For H&M it is entered with Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group on behalf of Carnival Corp.