SANTA CLARITA, Calif - Princess Cruises announced on Thursday that the company will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months.
The "proactive" decision, the company said in a news release, will impact trips departing March 12 to May 10.
"By taking this bold action of voluntarily pausing the operations of our ships, it is our intention to reassure our loyal guests, team members and global stakeholders of our commitment to the health, safety and well-being of all who sail with us, as well as those who do business with us, and the countries and communities we visit around the world," Princess Cruises preisdent Jan Swartz said in a statment.
The Princess cruise is docked in Oakland. March 10, 2020
One of the Princess cruises, the Grand Princess, was still docked in Oakland on Thursday, where the remaining 300 passengers will get to disembark. That trip, which sailed to Hawaii from San Francisco on Feb. 21, was held at sea for five days when it was discovered there was coronavirus spreading among crew members and passengers.
One couple, Ronald and Eva Weissberger of Florida, who were aboard that ship has already filed a $1 million federal lawsuit against Princess Cruises over its handling of the global pandemic.
Those currently onboard a cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through the end of the itinerary so that onward travel arrangements are not disrupted.
Current trips that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for guests, factoring in operational requirements, the company said.
Princess is offering passengers the opportunity to transfer 100% of the money paid for their cancelled cruise to a future cruise of their choice. To see more on refunds and credits, click here.