Cruise line cancels all 2020 voyages after Covid outbreak spoils Caribbean return

The rest of the passengers were confined to their cabins for the following three days, disembarking on Saturday, November 14. During the isolation everyone was tested, which resulted in further cases being uncovered.

Although the 66-strong crew all returned negative results at first, the line has since confirmed that two tested positive when checked by Barbadian health authorities.

Prior to the announcement that there would be no more sailing this year, the second Caribbean voyage – which should have left Barbados on Saturday evening – was cancelled so the vessel could undergo a deep clean. The cruise line had been expected to make more than 20 trips in the Caribbean – the world’s biggest cruise destination – between November this year and April 2021.

Norway-based SeaDream said in a statement: “SeaDream has decided to cancel sailing for the remainder of 2020 after positive Covid-19 test results. Multiple negative PCR tests were required before the guests boarded, but this was not sufficient to prevent Covid-19 onboard.

“SeaDream successfully operated more than 20 sailings during the pandemic without any cases, and further improvements were made to protocols before the Barbados season. The company will now spend time to evaluate and see if it is possible to operate and have a high degree of certainty of not getting Covid.”

Before the first case of coronavirus was confirmed, Andreas Brynestad, the executive vice president of SeaDream, told Telegraph Travel that “there is no guarantee that we will never get Covid. There is no such thing as 100 per cent certainty – other than the fact that some people will always be critical. This is usually due to lack of knowledge or an understanding of how we operate.”

He also described being on board as “a safe bubble”, highlighting how passengers needed to show two negative Covid-19 tests prior to boarding and were expected to socially distance. The 53 travellers on board meant SeaDream was less than half full.

The wearing of masks became a requirement two days into the sailing – but only after their absence caused a minor controversy when images were shared on social media.

SeaDream was the first luxury cruise line to resume sailing when it returned to Norway’s waters in June, following the global cruise industry’s pause in March as the pandemic spread through the world.

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