River cruise ship in Europe on lockdown after COVID-19 outbreak

Sep 11, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

One of several dozen river cruise ships that have resumed operations in Europe in recent months is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, according to European media outlets.

Portugal’s tvi24 reports that two passengers and five crew members on CroisiEurope’s Portugal-based, 138-passenger Vasco de Gama have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

One of the two passengers has been hospitalized, according to Expresso, another Portuguese news outlet. The other passenger has been isolated in a hotel, the outlet says.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.

Expresso says the five crew members who have tested positive have been isolated on the ship, which is docked in Castelo de Paiva — a town along Portugal’s Douro River.

The outbreak came to light at the very end of a Douro River sailing, and all the passengers on the trip except the two who tested positive had departed the vessel before health authorities could stop them, according to several media outlets. They now are on their way back to their home countries in Europe.

There were 67 passengers on the voyage in all.

Related: Passenger tests positive on Tahiti-based Paul Gauguin Cruises 

The ship was sailing with 20 crew members, all of whom are now quarantined on board the vessel, according to the news reports.

A spokesperson for CroisiEurope based in the United States did not immediately have a statement on the situation.

CroisiEurope is one of Europe’s largest river cruise companies, and it has restarted river cruises in recent months in several European countries.

The line caters mostly to French-speaking travelers but traditionally draws some Americans. Americans currently aren’t allowed to sail on the line’s European river trips as they are taking place in countries that currently are off limits to U.S. leisure travelers.

Vasco de Gama is the second cruise ship to experience a significant COVID-19 outbreak since some cruise lines began resuming sailings earlier this summer.

The 535-passenger Roald Amundsen, operated by Norwegian expedition cruise company Hurtigruten, experienced a major COVID-19 outbreak just days after it resumed sailings in July. The incident prompted Hurtigruten to cancel sailings on three vessels.

Three other ships have had COVID scares since July. In all three cases, just a single passenger tested positive for the illness.

Every major cruise line around the world canceled all departures in March after the new coronavirus was declared a pandemic. But a growing number of lines in Europe and several other places around the world have been restarting limited operations since June.

Cruising remains halted in North America, where the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a “no-sail” order for cruise vessels that carry more than 250 passengers.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Featured image by Karsten_1/Shutterstock.com

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.