Cruise Ship COVID-19 Cases Since Restart

With more and more cruise lines resuming operations around the world, it’s important that passengers have the most up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 situation at sea. The data here is updated daily and represents the minimum number of people known to have caught coronavirus on a cruise ship since cruises resumed in July last year, based on media reports.

cruise ship rail generic

Cruises resumed in Europe in August, 2020 using some of the strictest COVID-19 mitigation measures the global travel industry had ever seen.

Within a few months, the Cruise Lines International Association had announced that more than 400,000 cruise passengers had been welcomed onboard, with fewer than 50 COVID-19 cases amongst passengers.

Cruises then resumed in Asia, out of Singapore, Taiwan, and most recently Hong Kong, and in late June, the world’s largest cruise market, the United States, resumed cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska, out of Florida and Seattle.

Cruise Arabia & Africa has been tracking the emergence of COVID-19 cases aboard cruise ships since the industry began to reopen in August last year. This is not an exhaustive list, but is rather an account of all known media reports of COVID-19 infections aboard cruise ships since cruising resumed.

The recent announcement by the CDC, declaring that more than 1,300 passengers in the US have tested positive for COVID-19 during a cruise, shows that cruise line’s heavily under-report COVID cases to the media.

The current total stands at at least 8,033 (667 passengers; 934 crew; 6,432 unknown). The unknown designations reflect reports in which it was not made clear whether the infected persons were crew or passengers.

Cruise Ship COVID-19 Cases Since Resumption

* Crew COVID-19 cases include cruise ships not yet back in operation.

** The numbers in the table do not include river cruise ships.

*** Some of the positive COVID-19 cases reported last year later reflected negative results, but as the initial positive result disrupted cruise operations and required guests to quarantine or end their cruise early, they have been included in the table.

Cruise COVID-19 Cases by Region

Cruise COVID-19 Cases by Cruise Line

How this information was put together:

Cruise Arabia & Africa has been tracking news reports of COVID-19 cases aboard cruise ships since July last year.

We chose July as it was the month in which Sea Dream Yacht Club and Hurtigurten attempted the first passengers cruises since the pandemic shut down the industry in March.

In August, the European cruise industry became the first to reopen with limited sailings by Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises, the four major cruise lines in Italy and Germany.

Our data includes the COVID-19 outbreaks aboard Hurtigurten’s Roald Amundsen and Sea Dream Yacht Club’s SeaDream 1 ships, which operated ill-fated cruises in mid-July and early August, prior to the wider reopening in Europe.

Below are the media reports that informed the development of the charts above.

(We have included ships not yet in service if the cases arose after July, 2020, and where there is a discrepancy in the number of cases, we have opted for the higher number in order to over-report, rather than under-report, the COVID-19 situation at sea).

Outbreaks Aboard Unidentified Cruise Ships: In 2021, the CDC released data on COVID-19 infections on cruise ships operating in the United States. It reported 1,359 COVID-19 cases aboard cruise ships sailing from US ports between June 26th and October 21st, 2021. These case numbers have been averaged out across the months of June to October, 2021 in the chart above, except in those cases where the dates are noted by the CDC.

It also noted several particularly large outbreaks aboard six ships:

July 24th, 2021 (3 guests, 18 crew): One symptomatic passenger who tested positive for COVID-19 on a cruise ship (Cruise Ship A) was epidemiologically linked to 20 additional laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 during two later cruises, including 2 passengers and 18 crew. 

July 24th–August 28th, 2021 (58 unknown): A cruise ship (Cruise Ship B) reported 58 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among passengers and crew.

July 29th–31st, 2021 (13 guests, 2 crew): Three symptomatic passengers tested positive for COVID-19 on a cruise ship (Cruise Ship C). Contact tracing and testing identified an additional 12 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 10 passengers and 2 crew.

July 26th–August 6th, 2021 (7 unknown): A cruise ship (Cruise Ship D) reported 7 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among passengers and crew.

August 19th–September 7th, 2021 (105 unknown): A cruise ship (Cruise Ship E) reported 105 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among passengers and crew on a total of four consecutive voyages.

August 21st–September 7th, 2021 (112 unknown): A cruise ship (Cruise Ship F) reported a total of 112 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among passengers and crew on four consecutive voyages.

2020

July 17th, 2020: Hurtigurten – Roald Amundsen. (29 guests, 42 crew)

Reported by NRK

August 4th, 2020: Sea Dream Yacht Club – SeaDream 1 (1 guest)

Reported by Aftenposten

August 4th, 2020: UnCruise – Wilderness Adventurer (1 guest)

Reported by KTOO

August 7th, 2020: Costa Cruises – Costa Deliziosa (4 crew) and Costa Favoalosa (5 crew) *ships were not in service at time

Reported by Il Messaggero

August 29th, 2020: Silversea – Silver Spirit (1 crew)

Reported by Al Arabiya

September 19th, 2020: Hurtigurten – Finnmarken (1 guest)

Reported by VG

September 27th, 2020: Costa Cruises – Costa Diadema (1 crew)

Reported by ANSA

September 28th, 2020: TUI Cruises – Mein Schiff 6 (12 crew) *ship was not in service at time **6 retests came back negative

Reported by T-Online

October 15th, 2020: Costa Cruises – Costa Diadema (7 guests)

Reported by Il Secolo

October 16th, 2020: Costa Cruises – Costa Diadema (1 guest)

Reported by Ship Mag

October 16th, 2020: MSC Cruises – MSC Grandiosa (1 guest)

Reported by Malta Ship News

November 1st, 2020: Ponant – Le Jacques Cartier (2 crew, 2 guests, 9 additional) *It is unknown whether the 9 additional were crew or guests

Reported by Maritime Executive

November 17th, 2020: SeaDream Yacht Club – SeaDream 1 (7 guests, 2 crew)

Reported by Barbados Today and Post Online Media

December 9th, 2020: Royal Caribbean – Quantum of the Seas (1 guest) *retested as negative

Reported by Cruise Critic

2021

February 11th, 2021: TUI Cruises – Mein Schiff 2 (4 guests)

Reported by TAG24

February 17th, 2021: MSC Cruises – MSC Grandiosa (1 guest)

Reported by GPS

March 8th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Odyssey of the Seas (8 crew) *ship was not in service at time **there is confusion over whether the cases were crew or shipyard workers

Reported by NDR and Jerusalem Post

May 1st, 2021: NYK Cruises – Asaka II (1 guest)

Reported by Japan News

May 24th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Odyssey of the Seas (5 crew) *Ship was not in service at time **Royal Caribbean reported only 2 infected, but crew reports indicated 5

Reported by Onda Cero

June 8th, 2021: MSC Cruises – MSC Seaside (2 guests)

Reported by Informazione

June 10th, 2021: Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Millennium (2 guests)

Reported by Celebrity Cruises Press Release

June 15th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Odyssey of the Seas (8 crew) *Ship was not in service at time

Reported by Cruise Industry News

June 20th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Anthem of the Seas (4 crew) *ship was not in service at time

Reported by Crew Center

June 25th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Adventure of the Seas (2 guests)

Reported by Skift

July 6th, 2021: Cunard Line – Queen Elizabeth (“A number of crew”) *ship was not in service at time – this report was not included in graph as the number of cases was never confirmed

Reported by BBC

July 11th, 2021: MSC Cruises – MSC Grandiosa (3 guests)

Reported by Andalucia Informacion

July 12th, 2021: American Cruise Lines – American Constellation (2 guests, 1 crew, 7 unknown**)

**later an additional 7 people were reported infected but it is unknown whether they were crew or guests

Reported by USA Today and Anchorage Daily News

July 14th, 2021: Viking Ocean Cruises – Viking Sky (1 guest)

Reported by Travel Agent Central

July 15th, 2021: Dream Cruises – World Dream (1 guest)

Reported by Straits Times

July 16th, 2021: Viking Ocean Cruises – Viking Jupiter (1 guest) *there are no media reports to back this up, but was reported in Cruise Critic Message Boards

Reported on Cruise Critic Message Boards

July 17th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (2 guests)

Reported by Cruise Law News

July 20th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Independence of the Seas (4 crew) *ship not in service at time

Reported by Galveston Daily News

July 21st, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (6 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

July 26th, 2021: Phoenix Reisen – Amera (12 crew) *ship was not in service at time

Reported by Cruise Law News

July 27th, 2021: UnCruise – Wilderness Explorer (4 guests, 3 crew)

Reported by Maritime Executive

July 29th, 2021: Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Millennium (1 guest)

Reported by Fox Business

July 30th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Adventure of the Seas (6 guests)

Reported by USA Today

August 2nd, 2021: American Cruise Lines – American Constellation (1 guest)

Reported by KHNS

August 5th, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Carnival Vista (2 guests, 1 crew) *this is based on the CDC threshold for investigation, the exact number is likely higher

Reported by CNN

August 10th, 2021: Costa Cruises – Costa Smeralda (6 guests)

Reported by Cruise Hive

August 11th, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Carnival Vista (1 guest, 26 crew)

Reported by Belize Tourism Board

August 11th, 2021: Atlas – World Navigator (1 guest)

Reported by Seatrade Cruise News

August 14th, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Mardi Gras (1 guest)

Reported by Cruise Law News

August 17th, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Carnival Vista (16 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

August 19th, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Mardi Gras (3 guests)

Reported by Florida Today

August 22nd, 2021: TUI Cruises – Mein Schiff 2 (5 crew)

Reported by Bild

August 23rd, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Mardi Gras (4 guests)

Reported by Cruise Law News

August 31st, 2021: Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Silhouette (3 crew)

Reported by Liverpool Echo

September 4th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Harmony of the Seas (1 guest)

Reported by Il Secolo XIX

September 7th, 2021: MSC Cruises – MSC Virtuosa (75 guests) *MSC Cruises has not confirmed the number of passengers infected, but at least 75 cases have been reported on social media

Reported by Cruise Law News

September 15th, 2021: Nicko Cruises – World Voyager (5 crew)

Reported by NDR

September 18th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (5 guests)

Reported by Cruise Laws News

September 29th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (21 guests) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

September 30th, 2021: Crystal Cruises – Crystal Symphony (6 guests)

Reported by Royal Gazette

October 2nd, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (12 guests) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

October 11th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (4 crew) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

October 12th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Allure of the Seas (15 crew) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

October 23rd, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (11 guests) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

November 1st, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (9 guests; 4 crew) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

November 12th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (6 crew) *Unconfirmed by Royal Caribbean

Reported by Cruise Law News

December 5th, 2021: Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Breakaway (17 unknown)

Reported by Reuters

December 10th, 2021: MSC Cruises – MSC Orchestra (100 guests)

Reported by IOL

December 18th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Symphony of the Seas (48 unknown)

Reported by NBC Miami

December 21st, 2021: Cunard Line – Queen Mary 2 (10 guests)

Reported by USA Today

December 22nd, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Odyssey of the Seas (3 guests, 52 crew)

Reported by USA Today

December 22nd, 2021: Holland America Lina – Koningsdam (21 crew)

Reported by Los Noticieristas

December 22nd, 2021: Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Seven Seas Mariner (7 crew)

Reported by City Paper Bogota

December 23rd, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (10 passengers, 4 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

December 23rd, 2021: MSC Cruises – MSC Seashore (30 crew)

Reported by Crew Center

December 28th, 2021: Holland America Line – Zuiderdam (2 guests, 28 crew)

Reported by USN

December 28th, 2021: Carnival Cruise Line – Carnival Vista (1 guest, 50 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

December 29th, 2021: Royal Caribbean – Harmony of the Seas (1 guest, 49 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News 

December 30th, 2021: Hapag-Lloyd – Europa 2 (5 crew)

Reported by Spiegel

December 30th, 2021: CDC Reports 5,013 COVID cases aboard cruise ships since December 14th

January 1st, 2022: AIDA Cruises – AIDAnova (52 crew)

Reported by Irish Examiner

January 3rd, 2022: Cordelia Cruises – Empress (66 guests)

Reported by Indian Express

January 4th, 2022: MSC Cruises – MSC Grandiosa (45 guests)

Reported by CNN

January 4th, 2022: MSC Cruises – MSC Seaside (25 guests, 25 crew)

Reported by Reuters

January 4th, 2022: MSC Cruises – MSC Preziosa (8 guests, 25 crew)

Reported by Reuters

January 4th, 2022: MSC Cruises – MSC Splendida (62 crew) *vessel not in service

Reported by Reuters

January 4th, 2022: Costa Cruises – Costa Diadema (30 crew) *vessel not in service

Reported by Reuters

January 4th, 2022: Costa Cruises – Costa Fascinosa (5 guests, 2 crew)

Reported by Reuters

January 5th, 2022: Genting Cruises – Genting Dream (1 guest)

Reported by South China Morning Post

January 6th, 2022: Hurtigurten – MS Roald Amundsen (10 unknown)

Reported by GCaptain

January 7th, 2022: Princess Cruises – Ruby Princess (12 guests)

Reported by The Guardian 

January 7th, 2022: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (6 guests, 109 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

January 8th, 2022: Royal Caribbean – Jewel of the Seas (54 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

January 8th, 2022: Princess Cruises – Emerald Princess (12 crew)

Reported by Jamaica Observer

January 9th, 2022: MSC Cruises – MSC Meraviglia (60 guests, 169 crew)

Reported by Cruise Law News

January 10th, 2022: Princess Cruises – Grand Princess (1 guest)

Reported by Hawaii Public Radio