Following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, many franchises in the travel industry are taking precautions to ensure the safety of their guests and staff. Royal Caribbean has just followed suit, canceling eight cruises out of China through early March.
The cruise line increased the number of cancelations from three as of last week to eight and extended the duration from early February to early March.
In addition, Royal Caribbean will be turning away anyone who has been to China or Hong Kong within the past 15 days prior to departure. Those turned away will be issued full refunds.
Passengers who may have made contact with people who have been to China and Hong Kong within the 15-day time period must submit to specialized health screenings. Passengers traveling on a Chinese or Hong Kong passport and guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate flu-like symptoms will also be screened.
These same measurements will also apply to employees, crew members and contractors.
According Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean, there will likely be more future cancellations as a result of the outbreak, and it will likely impact future bookings in China. However, he did stress that the cruise line, which has operated in China for more than 10 years, remains committed to long-term growth in the country.
It is still to early to determine what impact the coronavirus will have on Royal Caribbean’s business. The cruise line does have a contingency plan if the outbreak continues for an extended period of time.