Home International Mauritius stops Norwegian cruise ship from docking, cites health risk

Mauritius stops Norwegian cruise ship from docking, cites health risk

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Mauritius stopped a ship belonging to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings from docking at its ports due to what it said was a health risk and took samples from about 15 passengers who were in isolation on board, its port authority said on Sunday.

The cruise ship of the Norwegian Cruise Line “Norwegian Dawn” departs the Royal Naval Dockyard near the port of Hamilton, Bermuda. File picture: Reuters, Gary Cameron

By Villen Anganan

PORT LOUIS – Mauritius stopped a ship belonging to Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings from docking at its ports due to what it said was a health risk and took samples from about 15 passengers who were in isolation on board, its port authority said on Sunday.

The ‘Norwegian Dawn’ had been scheduled to dock in Port Louis on Sunday, but since it had not gone to Reunion Island, it arrived in Port Louis a day earlier, the Mauritius Ports Authority said in a statement.

“The decision not to allow the cruise ship access to the quay was taken in order to avoid any health risks,” the authority said.

“The health and safety of passengers as well as that of the country as a whole are of the utmost to the authorities,” it added, without giving any details about the nature of the health risk.

A spokesperson for the US-headquartered Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement that during the ship’s trip to South Africa on February 13, some passengers had experienced mild symptoms of a stomach-related illness.

Once in Port Louis, the ship’s management worked with Mauritian authorities to make sure precautions were in place and all on board were okay, the spokesperson said.

The port authority said its test results would be known in 48 hours.

Officials at Mauritius’ health ministry were not immediately reachable for comment.

The ship has 2,184 passengers and 1,026 crew members. Of these, about 2,000 passengers would have disembarked in Port Louis after completing their cruise while another 2,279 new passengers had been expected to board the ship, the port authority said.

“Passengers who were due to board the Norwegian Dawn and begin their cruise from Mauritius today will not be able to do so due to potential health risks,” it said.

Those who were disembarking or joining the cruise will now do so on February 27, the Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said.

Tourism is one of the major drivers of Mauritius’ economy.

– REUTERS

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