Cruise ship docks in Bermuda after coronavirus scare

Passengers came ashore at Dockyard early on Wednesday from the cruise ship Anthem of the Seas, delayed last week in New Jersey over a coronavirus (Covid-19) scare.

The Royal Caribbean vessel was found to be clear of the virus after several passengers were screened.

“We weren’t expecting to be here but we’re just glad to be somewhere,” said one passenger from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with his wife adding “it’s probably better than most cruises we’ve been on — they treated us great.”

The couple said “a lot of people bailed” after the cruise, scheduled to stop in Florida and sail on to the Bahamas, was rerouted to Bermuda on a shortened trip.

“I am disappointed with a lot of the social media posts about this ship that were based on misinformation.”

— Tourism and Transport Minister, Zane DeSilva

Tourism and Transport Minister Zane DeSilva, who was on the pilot boat as the ship neared Bermuda, described the mood onboard the ship as “fantastic”, adding “people are glad to be here.

“No one had any concerns. Our concern is for our people, and I am confident the US health officials have done their job,” he said, adding “I am disappointed with a lot of the social media posts about this ship that were based on misinformation.”

Several Caribbean countries have turned away cruise ships in recent days over fears that some of the passengers on board had contracted the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 1,000 people in China.

The virus has now spread to several countries outside China.