Cruise

First cruise to resume sailing in Caribbean reports COVID-19 cases

Up to seven passengers have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on board SeaDream I, which is currently docked in Barbados.

The ship, owned by SeaDream Yacht Club, was the first to resume sailings in the Caribbean after a successful summer season in Norway.

CNN reported all 53 passengers and 66 crew were tested after one passenger fell ill on Wednesday.

The line said in a statement that it has paused the voyage and returned to Barbados after guests’ tests for COVID-19 returned assumptive positive results.

Gene Sloan, a senior reporter for The Points Guy who was onboard the ship, told CNN the captain informed guests about the preliminary positive test over the ships intercom system on and instructed them to return to their cabins and remain isolated there.

“It’s not a great development for the cruise industry,” Sloan said.

“I think the hope had been that the rigorous testing that SeaDream was doing would keep COVID off its ship.”

The line said it advised local health authorities and set in motion its COVID response protocols to protect guests and crew immediately after receiving assumptive positive results from the preliminary rapid COVID test on board.

The ship’s medical staff has tested all crew members and all tests have come back negative and SeaDream is currently re-testing all guests.

“After completing a successful summer season in Norway, we implemented even stricter health and safety protocols for our Barbados winter season,” SeaDream’s Andreas Brynestad said.

“All guests were tested twice prior to embarkation and we are in the process of re-testing guests.

“We are working closely with local health and government authorities to resolve this situation in the best possible way. Our main priority is the health and safety of our crew, guests, and the communities we visit.”

All guests and non-essential crew members are in quarantine in their staterooms while SeaDream awaites authorisation from the Barbados government to disembark guests safely.

Earlier this year, SeaDream operated 21 voyages in Norway during the summer season, claiming to be the first luxury cruise line to resume sailing.

In August, the line narrowly avoided a COVID-19 outbreak after one of its passengers tested positive upon arrival in Denmark.

The guest had also been on board SeaDream I and travelled home to Denmark from Tromsø on 2 August.

Following the advice of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health, the cruise line said it placed guests and crew on board SeaDream I in quarantine, except for essential crew members needed to operate the yacht.

SeaDream also suspended the sailing and the yacht made its way to Bodø to follow the guidelines of Norway’s health authorities.

However, the cruise line delivered the great news on 5 August that all guests and crew members on board SeaDream I have tested negative for COVID-19.

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