Cruising has been one of the most contentious forms of traveling since the start of the pandemic, with cruise ships being viewed as petri dishes for the virus’ spread. In the United States, cruising is banned through September, but in other parts of the world, sailing has resumed — with unfortunate consequences. On one cruise ship in the Arctic and another in French Polynesia, there have been new outbreaks of COVID-19.
When the MS Roald Amundsen docked in the Norwegian port of Tromsø on Friday, four crew members were hospitalized with COVID-19 and tests showed 32 other staff members were also infected. Of the 387 passengers aboard, four tested positive for the virus so far, though contact tracing is still underway.
This isn’t the first time the Roald Amundsen has struggled with COVID-19. Back in March, the ship was stranded for several days with over 100 passengers on board, when Chile refused to allow it to dock because of COVID-19 cases on board.
Similarly, the MS Paul Gauguin docked in Papeete, Tahiti, is also grappling with the virus. A crew member tested positive when the ship was sailing between Bora Bora and Rangiroa, and it immediately returned to its home port. Every passenger on board is now going to be tested.