Puerto Vallarta Offers Refuge to COVID-19-Striken ShipsBy Peter Appleby | Thu, 05/14/2020 - 17:05
Puerto Vallarta continues offering humanitarian aid to cruise liners and to the thousands of tourists aboard during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, the Port of Vallarta released an official press release detailing the role that the port is playing in the home return of passengers on three major cruise ships: The Star Princess, the Grand Princess and the Kongingsdam.
The ships, which were on cruise as the pandemic spread globally, are carrying thousands of passengers from different parts of the world. The passengers are eager to be allowed home and, with help from port authorities, they will soon be given permission to dock by the Puerto Vallarta Integral Port Authority (API) to begin their journey.
The Grand Princess, a Grand-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, which was once the largest and most expensive ship ever constructed, was at the center of a COVID-19 outbreak in March. According to Yahoo News, the ship had previously docked in Oakland, California, after reporting 21 COVID-19 cases as it travelled from Alaska to Hawaii to Mexico’s Riviera Maya. As of late April, seven passengers had died and 121 other passengers had tested positive for the virus.
The Kongingsdam, owned by the Holland America Line, was also scheduled to stop at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Los Cabos during its Alaska – Hawaii – Mexico cruise. The ship carries up to 2,650 guests.
The only ship to dock yesterday was the Star Princess. Another Grand-Class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, the Star Princess has 1,780 total passenger cabins and at the moment is being manned by a 201-strong crew.
This is the second occasion in which one of Mexico’s API members has come to the aid of cruise liners. According to Periódico Viaje, the Oosterdam cruiser was allowed to dock in the Ensenada Port in Baja California for humanitarian reasons.