SeaDream Yacht Club has decided to cancel all remaining cruises in 2020 after discovering last week that a passenger on board the industry’s first Caribbean cruise tested positive for COVID-19 since the sector closed in March.
Seven-day sailing aboard the ship SeaDream I, which left Barbados on November 7, was just days in its itinerary when it was forced to make a U-turn. The passengers had to isolate themselves in their cabins until the ship reached Barbados again.
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The sailing consisted of 53 passengers and 66 crew members who had previously visited Canouan, the Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and Union Island, where they were allowed to go ashore and enjoy empty beaches and snorkel in a pre-approved bubble. have no contact with locals.
The Norway-based cruise line reported today that seven passengers and two crew members ultimately tested positive following an assessment by Barbados health authorities.
This happened despite the fact that the passengers had to pass several PCR tests before arriving in Barbados and were retested by the ship’s doctor at the dock before boarding. Apparently, “this was not enough to prevent COVID-19 on board,” SeaDream said in a statement, according to Travel Weekly.
According to Barbados’ protocols that require passengers to be tested several days after sailing, everyone did another test on November 11th. At that point, one guest was actually feeling sick, USA Today reported.
Originally, the company had not required masks to be worn on board the ship, but encouraged social distancing and relied on the perceived solidity of its test protocols. But four days after SeaDream I sailed the Caribbean, it reversed that decision and required the wearing of masks on board.
SeaDream, one of the first cruise lines to resume operations in June, had successfully completed a short season in Norway and a 21-day transatlantic voyage from Oslo to Barbados without incident.
“SeaDream has successfully completed more than 20 trips with no cases during the pandemic, and logs continued to improve ahead of the Barbados season,” the cruise line said in a statement. “The company will now spend time evaluating and checking that it is possible to operate and have a high level of certainty not to receive COVID.”