3 Norwegian Cruise Line ships dock at Virginia port

Photo courtesy 13News Now (All News Hampton Roads)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — Three Norwegian Cruise Line ships have docked at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal with minimal crews on board during the cruise industry’s voluntary suspension of U.S. operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The ships parked to restock supplies and service their systems, and will remain through at least the end of June, according to Port of Virginia officials.

The ships have not had passengers since March 24, and each has fewer than 200 crew members — a fraction of their normal crews, news outlets quoted officials as saying.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulations mandate the crew members remain on the ships for the entire time they are at the port, according to a statement from the terminal. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will enforce the requirement, allowing for some exceptions approved by the CDC, the statement said.

Officials said the cruise line is paying the port a fee to dock each ship and is covering any costs incurred during their stays.

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