Cruise lines, passengers scramble to respond to coronavirus


A bus carrying the passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship prepares to leave a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. The cruise ship started letting passengers who tested negative for the virus leave the ship Wednesday. Test results are still pending for some people on board. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

MIAMI (AP) – The spread of a new virus from China is disrupting the cruise industry in the midst of its busiest season for bookings. Cruise lines have canceled or redeployed their Asia-based ships to regions such as Australia and Alaska.

Ships have been quarantined or turned away by port authorities even far away from the affected areas in popular destinations in the Caribbean. Cruise passengers are canceling or postponing their trips, and travel advisers are seeing fewer last-minute bookings.

While the final impact on the cruise industry is not yet known, fears already have sent cruise stocks plummeting over the past week. 

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