March 14, 2020 / 3:56 PM / 19 days ago

Royal Caribbean suspends global operations after virus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: The Royal Caribbean cruise ship Anthem of the Seas is docked after passengers were removed with possible coronavirus symptoms at the port of Bayonne, New Jersey, U.S., February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

(Reuters) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL.N) said on Saturday it has suspended the voyages of its fleet globally from midnight tonight following the coronavirus outbreak.

The cruise operator said it will conclude all current sailings as scheduled and expects to return to service on April 11, 2020.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said that major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean would suspend cruises for 30 days at his request after repeated transmission of coronavirus among passengers at sea.

The company had initially suspended its cruises in the United States for 30 days on Friday following Trump’s request.

In this same week Princess Cruises, the operator of two ocean liners that were quarantined after they became hotbeds for coronavirus infections, suspended the voyages of all its 18 ships for two months.

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft

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