By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
An outbreak of Covid-19 on a Hurtigruten cruise ship in Tromsø, Norway, is likely to cause further unease among passengers as the industry seeks to rebuild confidence.
Four crew on expedition ship MS Roald Amundsen were confirmed as having the virus on Friday, and were taken to hospital.
All 158 crew members on the ship were subsequently tested, with a further 32 cases located.
While the crew was quarantined on the ship, 178 passengers were allowed to disembark.
This subsequently trigged a complex operation to locate them in order to contain any potential spread.
So far, four of the combined 387 passengers travelling on the ship on two separate cruises since July 17th have been found to carry the virus, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said.
The ship remains docked in Tromsø, with no guests on board.
“We are now focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues,” said Hurtigruten vice president, global communications, Rune Thomas Ege.
“We work closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.”
MS Roald Amundsen was scheduled to sail to Svalbard last Friday.
That voyage was cancelled, with the next cruise on the ship not planned until September.
“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority.
“All crew members are closely monitored and screened daily.
“Non-Norwegian crew members are quarantined before boarding the ship, and non-European crew need to undergo two negative Covid-19 tests before even leaving their home country,” Ege concluded.