Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas Isn’t Going to China in 2021

Wonder of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International is postponing Wonder of the Seas’ arrival in China until further notice.

Being built in France, the fifth Oasis-class vessel was scheduled to arrive in Shanghai in mid-2021.

According to the cruise line, the vessel is not going to be delivered next spring as previously planned.

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented impact on the global cruise ship industry and the construction of the new Wonder of the Seas was delayed due to the impact of it in shipyard operations,” said the company, in a statement issued in the Chinese market.

While remaining hopeful to see the 5,448-guest ship in Asia “as soon as possible,” the cruise line didn’t set an alternative timeline for it.

“We look forward to the arrival of Wonder of the Seas after the epidemic has been brought under control,” the company said.

“Royal Caribbean believes that the fundamentals of the Chinese economy have not changed because of the epidemic, and the trend of the cruise ship market will not change. After the public health risks are controlled, people will pursue socialization. The instincts of reunion and leisure will not change and may even be strengthened,” said Dr Zinan Liu, Chairman of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia, underlining the company’s commitment to the market.

“We are fully prepared to show the public that Royal Caribbean ships are a safe place,” he said.

Thailand turns Westerdam Away

The Westerdam, pictured above, has also been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. Its owner Holland America Line says there are no coronavirus cases on-board

Thailand becomes the latest country to turn away Westerdam cruise ship as it bars passengers from disembarking despite no cases of coronavirus on board

The Westerdam, pictured above, has also been turned away by the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan. Its owner Holland America Line says there are no coronavirus cases on-board.

There are more than 43,000 coronavirus cases declared in the world so far and 1,018 deaths
There are more than 43,000 coronavirus cases declared in the world so far and 1,018 deaths

The chief of the Department of Disease Control Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said Tuesday that the Public Health Ministry had rejected a request from the crew of the MS Westerdam to dock at Laem Chabang in eastern Thailand.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chano-cha confirmed the ban but said Thailand was looking a way to give humanitarian assistance and will be able to provide the ship with necessities such as fuel and food.

The Westerdam began its cruise on January 16 in Singapore. Shipowner Holland America Line says there are no known cases of the virus on board.

Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakulhad indicated on his Facebook page several hours before the official announcement that the ship would be denied entry.

The Westerdam, shown by the yellow ship, is currently rounding the bottom of Vietname and heading towards Thailand

The Westerdam, shown by the yellow ship, is currently rounding the bottom of Vietnam and heading towards Thailand

He posted his declaration after Holland America announced it was sailing to Laem Chabang, where passengers would disembark on February 13 to take flights home from Bangkok. The announcement by the shipowner attracted much attention among Thai social media users.

Holland America had already announced that passengers would receive a complete refund. It said a scheduled departure of the Westerdam on Feb. 15 from Yokohama had been cancelled and planned departures after Feb. 28 were being assessed.

La Belle des Oceans Runs Into Trouble in Asia

La Belle des Oceans

CroisiEurope’s La Belle des Oceans has arrived in Phuket after damaging its hull on an uncharted rock near Phi Phi Island, according to media reports.

The ship will remain in port until repairs are completed on the hull, which could take a week, according to local news.

The rock was said to tear a hole in the ship’s hull on the port side.

Passengers have been taken to Novotel Phuket Phokeethra in Phuket Town, where they will stay until they are flown to Singapore.

CroisiEurope acquired the 120-passenger ship earlier this year, which most recently sailed as the Silver Discoverer.

The 1989-built vessel is the former Clipper Odyssey, Oceanic Odyssey and Oceanic Grace.