Royal Caribbean follows NCL canceling cruises amid COVID outbreak

·2 min read

Royal Caribbean announced it was canceling cruises on four of its ships because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Citing “ongoing COVID-related circumstances around the world, and in an abundance of caution,” the line on its travel advisory site said it was either postponing or outright canceling sailings on Vision of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.

Symphony of the Seas, the current world record holder for world’s largest cruise ship, had been sailing out of Miami. The line is removing three planned seven-night voyages that were to depart Jan. 8, Jan. 15 and Jan. 22. The ship’s Jan. 28 itinerary is still available.

Also out of Miami, Jewel of the Seas’ 5- and 6-night sailings are canceled from Jan. 9-Feb. 12 with the first return to sailing set for Feb. 20.

Vision of the Seas had yet to return to service, but will now debut on March 7 out of Port Everglades for long Southern Caribbean itineraries.

And Serenade of the Seas, sailing from Los Angeles, has its planned voyages from Jan. 8-March 5 canceled ahead of a planned dry dock refurbishment. It will return on April 26.

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

The announcement comes after Norwegian Cruise Line shortened one sailing from Miami on Norwegian Pearl and canceled one sailing from Miami aboard Norwegian Getaway while also delaying the debuts of six other ships in the U.S. and around the world.

The rampant expansion of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has hit cruise lines hard, although with less severe symptoms than previous variants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring case reports on all 92 ships sailing with passengers from the U.S. The CDC stated that for the two-week period from Dec. 15-29, all cruise lines reported 5,013 COVID-19 cases, compared to 162 from Nov. 30-Dec. 14.

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