Princess Cruise Lines, a subsidiary of Carnival (CCL 1.71%), confirmed on Tuesday that after health screenings of all 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew aboard its Diamond Princess cruise vessel, 10 people have tested positive for the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. Further tests are ongoing.
The vessel, which was nearing the end of a 14-day cruise in Southeast Asia when Carnival became aware of the possibility that those on the ship might have been exposed to coronavirus. Based on tests completed so far by the Japanese Ministry of Health, three passengers from Japan, three from Hong Kong, two from Australia, and one from the U.S. have been infected, as well as one crew member from The Philippines. Plans are for the Japanese Coast Guard to take all 10 ashore for treatment in local hospitals. As for the ship itself, authorities say it will remain under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan, for at least 14 days.
This variant of coronavirus is believed to have a maximum incubation period of 14 days.
During this quarantine period, Princess Cruise Lines has made plans to reprovision the ship, which will spend time farther out at sea where it can produce its own fresh water. Guests will be provided internet and phone service free of charge while aboard the vessel, "and the ship's crew is working to keep all guests comfortable."
Princess Cruise Lines will not only refund passengers what they paid for their trips, but also provide each a full credit for a future cruise. The company has canceled the next two Diamond Princess cruises scheduled to depart Yokohama.
Despite this news, shares of Carnival were trading 1.5% higher as of 11:25 a.m. EST Wednesday.