The roughly 1,700 passengers aboard the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship will begin disembarking Monday at Honolulu Harbor, despite a 30-day state pause on cruise ship activity because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The cruise ship was experiencing “propulsion problems that require repairs at the next port, which is Honolulu Harbor,” the state Department of Transportation said today.
The repairs must be made without passengers on board, prompting the change to allow passengers to disembark.
The ship, operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines, arrived this afternoon at Honolulu Harbor, but no crew or passengers would be allowed to get off today, the DOT said.
There are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 with the nearly 2,000 passengers or 1,000 crew members on the ship, the DOT said.
State officials are working on a plan to isolate the passengers from the general public and transport them directly from the ship to their planes.
An order Gov. David Ige issued on Saturday for all visitors and returning residents arriving in Hawaii to be self-quarantined for 14 days will start on Thursday and not affect the Norwegian Jewel passengers.
A Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said charter flights have been arranged for all passengers on Monday and Tuesday to Los Angeles; Sydney; London; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Frankfurt, Germany.
“All guests will remain onboard until three hours prior to their scheduled flight,” the spokesperson said. “Our business remains operational and our team is available to offer reassurance to our guests as well as assist them with future travel arrangements. As we continue to navigate through this evolving situation and as we have additional details, we will provide them as appropriate.”