Three NCL-Norwegian cruise ships dock at Port Oakland amid Coronavirus crisis

   May 9, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Three cruise ships without passengers onboard will dock at Port Oakland CA over the weekend while the United States embargoes cruise operations, the port announced on Friday, May 8. Port Oakland is a container ship terminal in Oakland (California USA), located in San Francisco Bay.

The first two cruise liners are scheduled to arrive on Saturday, May 9, and the third one is expected on Sunday, May 10. According to the Port of Oakland Authority, two NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line ships would dock at Outer Harbor Terminal, which currently is not used by boxships. Another NCL vessel will berth at Howard Terminal at Oakland Estuary. The terminal is no longer considered to be big enough for container shipping operations.

The NCL ships could remain berthed for 2 to 3 months, NCL revealed.

The port said it was making berth space available because ~100 cruise ships worldwide were seeking safe harbor during the COVID-19 pandemic and an estimated 80,000 crew are still on passenger ships at sea. According to Port Oakland's Executive Director Danny Wan, those ships were "under federal requirements to report health concerns" and they understood they hadn’t had a history of coronavirus, so they'd do what they could to help.

The port said the USCG and NCL had not reported any coronavirus cases aboard the 3 vessels. There are no plans for the crew to disembark in Oakland.

The US Government banned cruise shipping operations in US ports during the pandemic and most cruise companies have suspended such operations globally.

Generally, Port Oakland doesn't serve passenger ships, but in March provided an emergency berthing to Grand Princess. Hundreds of cruise passengers, including some who had tested positive for Coronavirus, disembarked from that vessel.