Passengers of 2 cruise ships expected in Honolulu won’t be allowed to disembark

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 7:35 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two cruise ships are expected to dock at Honolulu Harbor at the end of this week, but passengers won’t be allowed off.

The two ships — the Maasdam, operated by Holland American Line, and the Norwegian Jewel, operated by Norwegian Cruise Line — will only be allowed to refuel and restock supplies, then head back out to sea, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said Wednesday afternoon.

All cruise ship operations are on a 30-day pause in Hawaii, which took effect on March 14.

The Maasdam is expected to arrive at 2 p.m. Friday, with the Norwegian Jewel following on March 22.

State officials say the Maasdam has 850 people on board and the Norwegian Jewel has 1,700. Neither ship has any confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“The health and safety of all people in Hawaii is always at the forefront of operational decisions. Presently, all state resources are focused and directed towards containing the spread of COVID-19. Allowing more than 2,500 passengers and crew to disembark will further strain these resources,” said Director Jade Butay, Hawaii Department of Transportation.

"Neither ship had originally planned to make Hawaii its final port and both will carry on to mainland destinations, where more resources can be marshalled to handle the passengers and crew properly,” Butay added.

Gov. Ige previously announced that screenings and temperature readings for cruise ship passengers disembarking would begin Friday. There will be no need for that in light of Wednesday’s announcement. It’s not clear if or when screenings at airports will begin.

This story will be updated.

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