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

Sept. 11, 2020
3 min read
River cruise ship in Europe on lockdown after COVID-19 outbreak
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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.

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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.

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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 Featured image by Karsten_1/Shutterstock.com

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    670-850
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Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees