A Princess Cruises ship with ~2000 passengers was greeted by protesters throwing stones and screaming at the crew as the liner tried to dock in Saint Denis (Reunion Island) because they thought the cruise ship was infected with Coronavirus.
Police were forced to use tear gas to end the clash after 30 locals from the French Republic, east of Madagascar, gathered as Sun Princess docked on Sunday, March 1. Protesters were concerned people onboard could be carrying COVID-19 after the vessel docked in Thailand in early February.
The disease has already infected over 88,000 people in 60 countries across the world, killing at least 3,000. There have been no suspected or confirmed cases onboard Sun Princess.
Demonstrators refused to let cruise passengers, who are mostly from Australia and New Zealand, disembark the liner, and threw rocks and bottles at security. According to local media, others set fire to trash cans and blocked roads before they were stopped by heavily armed police, who used tear gas to get them under control.
The 7-week voyage began on January 20, leaving Adelaide for a roundtrip to Singapore, Thailand, Seychelles, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, and Reunion Island. It cost at least US$10,000 per person.
On February 13, the ship was denied entry to Madagascar for the same reason.
Sun Princess had recently docked in Thailand. Authorities were concerned travellers would still be within the 14-day incubation period for the coronavirus. However, over a month has passed since the stopover in Thailand and passengers believe there was no reason for the reception they received in Pointe des Gallets Sunday morning. Around 300 passengers were able to visit the island after they left through a different exit.
The next call port was supposed to be Port Louis (Mauritius). The captain planned to sail there early after the treatment they had received at Reunion Island but the local government withdrew permissions for the liner to dock there overnight, too. Now Sun Princess is cruising back to Fremantle-Perth (Australia), with scheduled arrival on March 10.
For other Sun Princess accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.