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coronavirus

Cruise ship operator suspends global operations

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) — operators of the cruise liner Magellan that was due to dock in Kirkwall on Saturday — have announced that they are suspending their cruise operations throughout the world for six weeks.

The company say all vessels will be returning to their disembarkation homeports in the UK and Germany.

It is believed the Magellan and the Astoria, which was due to call in at Hatston next Sunday, have cancelled their visits to Orkney — although this has not been confirmed by Orkney Islands Council.

CEO of CMV, Christian Verhounig, said: “Due to this fast-evolving global pandemic, we are simply unable to continue performing our scheduled itineraries and to deliver the travel experience expected by our valued passengers.

“We have therefore taken the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend all cruises until Friday, April 24, when we very much hope to be able to resume service.”

There has been widespread concern regarding the arrival of a cruise ship amid coronavirus fears.

The Magellan was due to visit the county from Shetland, which has six confirmed cases of the illness.

In response to concerns, Orkney Islands Council has previously stated that it has had port health procedures in place for many years for dealing with cases of infection aboard ships of all kinds.