EXPECTATIONS were riding high across the US cruise sector last month when SeaDream Yacht Club became the first operator to resume voyages in the Caribbean. Conducted under strict COVID protocols, the SeaDream I cruise followed a successful transatlantic sailing and a number of voyages in the North Sea which took place without incident.
Just over 50 passengers boarded in Barbados, after presenting a negative test within 72 hours of travel and then being given another test on the dock by the ship’s doctor.
Unfortunately part-way through the week-long voyage one of the cruisers asked for an extra test because they were feeling unwell.
It turned out that she was infected, along with four others in her family group who were travelling together from the US West Coast.
The entire ship was placed in quarantine, but subsequently two other passengers also tested positive.
The voyage was then aborted, along with the remainder of sailings planned for the season, dashing the hopes of many who had hoped the voyage could have paved the way for a wider resumption of cruising.