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Thirty-three crew members of a Hurtigruten cruise in Norway have been diagnosed with Covid-19, with four hospitalised and the rest in isolation.
The staff, of which there were 160 in total, were tested at the end of a seven-day sailing around the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard yesterday, with 177 passengers on board; none of whom reported any symptoms of the virus while onboard and all of whom had disembarked by the time the news broke.
In what is unfolding as a major test for an industry that is only just getting back on its feet, all guests have been ordered to quarantine and will undergo testing. The Norwegian cruise line has already announced that one passenger has tested positive for coronavirus.
“There was no reason to suspect Covid-19 when the ship docked in Tromso based on the symptoms the four of the crew had,” said Hurtigruten communications manager Rune Thomas Ege. “Fortunately, we received a quick response to the tests, so that both we and the Tromso municipality were able to implement measures.”
The vessel, MS Roald Amundsen, which is the world’s first hybrid-powered ship, remains in Tromso and its next voyage, due to embark yesterday, was cancelled. Earlier this month, Hurtigruten became the first line to announce cruises around Britain, planned for September, since the pandemic forced the industry to pause all operations in March.
The FCO currently advises against all ocean cruises.