Coronavirus cruise ship Coral Princess docks in PortMiami Florida

   April 5, 2020 ,   Accidents

Coral Princess docked on Saturday, April 4, at PortMiami Florida with two passengers dead and a number of others ill from Coronavirus (COVID-19) following a weeks-long search for a cruise port that would let travellers disembark.

This ends a sailing that began on March 5 in Chile and was scheduled to finish on March 19 in Argentina. However, it ran on for days as countries refused to welcome guests ashore during the pandemic. The trip was lengthened though none of the crew and passengers tested positive until this week.

It is still not clear how soon the 1,000-plus cruisers and 878 crew members will disembark in Miami FL but some of the most seriously ill are due to leave first and go to hospitals, according to Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

On Thursday, Princess Cruises said that 12 people onboard - 7 guests and 5 crew - were positive for Coronavirus after a small group with respiratory illness were tested on Tuesday. The cruise line announced on Saturday that 2 passengers had died of coronavirus.

Two guests needing immediate medical attention will be taken to Larkin Community Hospital in Miami, and an unspecified number of others will also soon be taken to hospitals. About 15 other ill travellers who do not need immediate hospitalization will remain onboard for medical treatment until they're cleared for travel by the US CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention).

More than 840 crew members and 990 passengers have been deemed fit for travel. Guests who are allowed to fly home will start leaving Coral Princess on Sunday, but Princess Cruises said the disembarking "is expected to take several days due to limited flight availability."

The liner was about halfway through its sailing around South America when, on March 12, Princess said it would end underway voyages as soon as possible as worldwide concerns about the virus grew.

Coral Princess cruise ship

Coral Princess was to disembark at the port of Buenos Aires as scheduled on March 19, in part because passengers already had air travel booked there. The vessel did dock there, but the Argentinian government allowed only people with confirmed flights and Argentine passport holders to disembark.

Coral Princess then asked for permission to disembark travellers in Uruguay, where she picked up provisions, on March 21, and Brazil, but was denied. On March 31, heading toward Florida, the liner picked up more supplies in Barbados.

For other Coral 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.