Swine Flu-Carrying Ship To Dock in Aruba Today

A Spanish cruise ship carrying several swine flu-infected crew members will be docking in Aruba sometime today, according to the Pullmantur, the tour operating company which owns the ship.




About 400 passengers will be disembarking in Aruba, the starting point for the nine-day cruise. No passengers have displayed flu symptoms, but three crew members have tested positive for the virus and 11 more have symptoms, a Pullmantur representative told the Associated Press.

More than 300 Venezuelan passengers already disembarked in Isla Margarita on Wednesday, but the port operators in Grenada and Barbados denied the ship from docking in those locations. Pullmantur representatives said passengers will receive a partial refund for those missed destinations.

But it is a lack of information about the outbreak, not failure to make stops, that has some passengers flummoxed. "We are out on the water, with people who do not want to tell us anything," passenger Mario Infantini told the newspaper El Pais. "This is not a quarantine, it is a kidnapping."

The ship bears passengers from around the world, from countries including Brazil, Chile, Panama, Columbia, Spain, Peru, Holland, Belgium and the United States, according Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Venezuela's state news agency. 

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In this week's Cruise Chatter, we talk with Navin Sawhney, CEO, the Americas, Ponant, and focus on cruise news and tidbits of interest to advisors.