Passengers confined to cabins as coronavirus appears on another cruise ship

Aug 3, 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.

Another cruise ship that tried to resume sailings in recent days is having a coronavirus crisis.

The French Polynesia-based, 332-passenger Paul Gauguin returned early to its home port of Papeete, Tahiti, over the weekend after a passenger tested positive for the illness.

The vessel, operated by Tahiti-based Paul Gauguin Cruises, was just three days into its first sailing with international passengers since cruise lines around the world halted operations in March.

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

French Polynesia’s High Commission on Monday said 148 passengers on the vessel had been confined to their cabins.

The passenger who tested positive and a family member sharing the same cabin have been removed from the ship and placed in isolation on land.

The High Commission said initial COVID-19 testing of passengers and crew members who were in close contact with the passenger who tested positive have come back negative. Health officials are now testing all remaining passengers and crew on the vessel.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles 

Paul Gauguin Cruises
The 332-passenger cruise ship Paul Gauguin sails year-round in the South Pacific. (Photo by Sylvain GRANDADAM/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The High Commission didn’t say how long passengers would be confined on the ship or whether the vessel was formally under quarantine.

The situation on the Paul Gauguin began unfolding just a day after one of the first cruise ships to resume operations in Europe experienced a significant coronavirus outbreak.

Norwegian expedition cruise company Hurtigruten’s 535-passenger Roald Amundsen arrived in Tromsø, Norway, on Friday with four sick crew members who later tested positive for COVID-19. Another 32 crew members and at least five passengers have since tested positive.

The four sick crew members have been hospitalized.

Related: Coronavirus claims another small cruise line — the third in a month 

The Roald Amundsen had just finished its second sailing since resuming operations, a seven-night trip out of Tromsø to the Arctic’s wildlife-filled Svalbard archipelago.

Hurtigruten and Paul Gauguin Cruises have been at the forefront of efforts to restart cruising around the world.

Hurtigruten restarted cruises to Norway out of Hamburg, Germany, in June with a single ship, the 530-passenger Fridtjof Nansen. It added cruises to Svalbard on the Roald Amundsen and the 335-passenger Spitsbergen in July.

Hurtigruten on Monday said it had suspended all upcoming sailings on the three vessels. In a statement, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam called it “the only responsible choice.”

Paul Gauguin Cruises resumed operations in French Polynesia on July 18 with a voyage open to local residents only. The current sailing, which began on July 29, was its first with international travelers.

Paul Gauguin Cruises hasn’t said whether it would go ahead with future sailings.

French Polynesia on July 15 became the first destination in the South Pacific to accept international visitors without requiring a quarantine, and several cruise companies quickly announced plans to restart operations in the region.

Related: French Polynesia is about to be at the vanguard of cruising’s return 

The High Commission said the passenger who tested positive on the Paul Gauguin had taken a self-administered COVID-19 test while on board the vessel. A second test performed by health officials after the ship returned to Papeete confirmed the illness.

The Paul Gauguin had spent two days at the island of Bora Bora before the coronavirus case on the ship was discovered. The 10-night trip had been scheduled to also include visits to Moorea, Huahine and Motu Mahaea in the Society Islands as well as stops in the Tuamotu Islands.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is a division of Ponant, a France-based cruise company that specializes in expedition-style cruises to remote destinations. It draws a significant number of Americans.

Hurtigruten and Paul Gauguin Cruises are just two of several cruise companies that have been starting to bring back cruises in a handful of regions around the world since June. Until this week, no cruise operators in North America had resumed sailings. But one small-ship cruise company, UnCruise Adventures, resumed trips out of Juneau, Alaska, on Saturday.

Additional resources for cruisers during the coronavirus outbreak:

Featured image by Sylvain GRANDADAM/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

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 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

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.