PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The cruise ship currently being held off the California coast until it’s known whether any of its 3500 passengers has the coronavirus is scheduled to be the first cruise ship of the year to dock in Astoria.
The Grand Princess is under orders to keep its distance from the shore. Princess Cruises said 45 people were selected for testing.
“The ship will not come on shore until we appropriately assess the passengers,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
The itinerary was for the Grand Princess to leave San Francisco this Saturday for trip to Hawaii. It is scheduled to arrive in Astoria on March 31.
But there’s no confirmation that will happen, the Port of Astoria’s cruise ship marketer Bruce Conner told The Daily Astorian.
“It is absolutely, unequivocally the Coast Guard’s call,” Conner told them.
In a Friday morning statement, officials with the Port of Astoria said they are working with federal, county and city officials about the coronavirus and preparing for any eventualities.
“We are coordinating with the US Coast Guard (USCG), US Customs & Border Protection, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), cruise lines, and local partners to address COVID-19.
“Cruise ships visiting the Port of Astoria in the spring of 2020 arrive exclusively from domestic locations and no vessels come directly from impacted areas. The Port’s 2020 Cruise Ship Schedule reflects all cruise ships calling on the Port of Astoria for the year.”
Officials said they would provide updates as necessary.
Another Princess cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, was quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan, last month because of the virus, and ultimately about 700 of the 3,700 people aboard became infected in what experts pronounced a public-health failure, with the vessel essentially becoming a floating germ factory.
Among those passengers were Kent and Rebecca Frasure of Forest Grove.
The Grand Princess was returning to San Francisco after visiting Hawaii. A Sacramento-area man who sailed to Mexico on the Grand Princess in February later succumbed to the coronavirus. Two other passengers from that voyage have been hospitalized with the virus in Northern California, and two Canadians tested positive after returning home, officials said.
Princess Cruises said that no cases of the virus had been confirmed among those still on the ship. But three dozen passengers have had flu-like symptoms over the past two weeks or so, said Mary Ellen Carroll, executive director of San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.