There is concern about a new COVID outbreak onboard a Princess Cruises ship headed for Melbourne (Australia) as the liner was prevented from docking at another cruise port due to high community transmission in the region.
The ship, with an unspecified amount of COVID cases onboard, is expected to dock in Melbourne on Thursday, December 1.
According to a Port of Newcastle spokesperson, it had not made the decision to deny access to the ship. Instead, it had been a joint decision made by Princess Cruises and the local NSW Department of Health authorities.
"Princess Cruises informed Port of Newcastle of their decision to cancel the Grand Princess' visit following discussions with Hunter New England Health."
A spokesperson for Princess said the ship had only "slightly elevated levels of Covid cases" onboard and therefore would continue her voyage to Melbourne.
The decision to not dock at Newcastle had been made in consultation with the NSW health departments because of the rise in community transmissions in the area.
A Princess Cruises spokesperson said the decision had been made "in consultation with NSW Health as the Newcastle and greater Hunter Valley region is managing the current rise in community transmissions, including the demand on its local hospitals and healthcare services." He added the Grand Princess ship would arrive in Melbourne on Thursday as scheduled.
"Like many other tourism operators, we too have been impacted by the current fourth wave being experienced across Australia. That’s why for many months we have been proactively planning, managing and caring for Covid cases when they arise onboard."
For more Grand Princess incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.