RCCL-Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd announced it no longer offers the optional shore excursions to White Island New Zealand after the December 9th disaster that resulted in 16 deaths, of whom 14 tourists and 2 local tour guides.
At the last count, the December 2019 Whakaari eruption resulted in 29 injured, 16 killed (confirmed dead) and 2 missing (presumed dead). The 18 killed were from Australia (14), NZ (2) and USA (2). The 29 injured were from Australia (11), USA (6), Germany (4), NZ (3), UK (2), China 92), Malaysia (1). Only 3 of the survivors were with slight injuries, while most suffered up to 95% burns of their bodies. NZ ordered from USA and Australia around 120 m2 (1300 ft2) of skin to treat these patients. On December 11th, all the 13 injured Australians were flown to Australian hospitals (Sydney and Melbourne) to receive treatment. The medevacs were assisted by 3x RAAF aircraft (Royal Australian Air Force), 1x Lockheed C-130 Hercules (4-engine plane) and 2x Boeing C-17 Globemaster planes (military transport aircraft), delivering medical aircrew and equipment.
Several of the victims were passengers from Ovation of the Seas (at the time docked in Tauranga NZ), who were touring White Island when the volcano erupted. Ovation OTS returned to Sydney NSW on December 6th.
Royal Caribbean emailed all customers with booked future volcano excursions, informing them that the offer was no longer available and they would be fully refunded for their bookings.