Nation's biggest cruise company suspends operations
AUSTRALIA'S biggest cruise ship company will dock its entire fleet for at least a month as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carnival Cruise Line on Saturday announced it would suspend operations across Australian-based ships until at least April 13.
Two ships currently at sea will continue their voyages before returning to Sydney as scheduled.
In a statement, a company spokesman said Carnival agents were contacting booked guests and their travel agents to notify them of the suspension in services.
"We are very sorry that this decision will disrupt the holiday plans for our guests and look forward to resuming operations and providing our guests safe, fun and memorable holidays," he said.
"And it goes without saying, we can only do that with the support of our outstanding onboard team members who have been nothing short of amazing during this prolonged period of challenge."
The decision comes as passengers aboard a Swiss cruise ship docked in Hobart have today been prevented from leaving the vessel.
The Magnifica, which can carry up to 3000 passengers and almost 1000 staff and crew, is on a world cruise and arrived at the Port of Hobart this morning, after travelling from New Zealand.
"The cruise company, MSC Cruises, has made the decision to keep passengers on board while in port, to ensure their health and safety, in response to potential risk of COVID-19," TasPorts said.