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Princess Cruises halts operations for 60 days due to coronavirus

Cruise ships have been particularly hard hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic and have been turned away by dozens of ports and countries.

Company says its 18 cruise ships will not sail March 12-May 10 because of pandemic

People look out from aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises, as it maintains a holding pattern off the coast of San Francisco on March 8. (Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Princess Cruises has announced it is pausing global operations of its 18 cruise ships for 60 days due to the novel coronavirus.

The decision affects trips departing between March 12 and May 10.

Cruise ships have been particularly hard hit by what is now a pandemic and have been turned away by dozens of ports and countries.

In February, hundreds of passengers and crew were infected aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which Japanese officials held in a flawed quarantine operation.

Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, says "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."

Passengers now on a Princess cruise that will end in the next five days will continue to sail as expected through the end of the itinerary. Current voyages that extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for guests.

Under normal operations, the company serves more than 50,000 passengers a day.

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