Peter Deer, managing director of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “While docked in Willemstad, five people on board Braemar tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus, four crew and one guest, with another guest returning an inconclusive result. One further guest received a negative result.

“We have been working closely with the Captain and his senior officers on board Braemar in the Caribbean and passing on any updates as soon as we can. Braemar was due to end its ‘Western Caribbean & Central America’ cruise on March 12 in Barbados but has changed course following a cautious response from the local authorities, and is heading towards the Bahamas (its Flag State). 

“Our focus is on getting everyone home as soon as possible. We are working closely with the UK government, UK Chamber of Shipping and Public Health England (‘PHE’) to make those arrangements, and as soon as we have any information on this we will share it with our guests and their families. 

“We have made the decision to cancel Braemar’s next cruise, ‘Islands of the Caribbean & the Azores’ (M2006), and guests are being offered a full refund, including any additional expenses incurred. We continue to monitor the global situation closely and will adapt and will revise any affected itineraries across our fleet. All guests booked onto any cruises that are required to change as a result will be made aware as soon as we have alternative plans confirmed.

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