The coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess has slashed its prices after more than 600 passengers contracted the deadly virus on board.
Carnival Cruise Line, who operates Princess Cruises, has offered savings of up to $400 on a number of US cruises on the ill-fated ship in a bid to entice customers.
Hundreds of infected passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney on March 19 without medical checks, leading to 15 deaths around the country and a criminal investigation.
A 15-night Hawaiian round trip cruise leaving from San Francisco on October 24 will set passengers back just $1,821 for an interior room – a saving of $352.
Ten nights on the Ruby Princess from San Francisco to Alaska in May 2021 has been slashed by $320 to $2,799 per person
Hundreds of infected passengers were allowed to disembark the Ruby Princess in Sydney on March 19 (pictured) without medical checks, leading to 15 deaths around the country and a criminal investigation
The same cruise in January next year is also on sale at $1,919 – a saving of $372.
Ten nights on the Ruby Princess from San Francisco to Alaska in May 2021 has been slashed by $320 to $2,799 per person.
Customers will be able to save $400 on a cruise to Alaska in July next year. Passengers will have to pay just $2,679 for 10 nights leaving from San Francisco.
A seven night Californian cruise in September is $1,295 per person, a saving of $270.
The cheap deals come after more than 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark from the ship on March 19, despite two travellers on board displaying coronavirus-like symptoms 24 hours before the boat docked in Sydney.
There have since been more than 600 confirmed cases and 15 deaths linked to the ship nationwide.
The Ruby Princess is currently docked in Port Kembla, near Wollongong. A criminal investigation into why passengers were allowed to disembark without health checks has commenced.
The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, NSW Health and ship operator Carnival Australia.
Ruby Princess savings
Seven night California cruise in September 2020: $1,295 ($270 saving)
10-night San Francisco to Alaska in May 2021: $2,799 ($320 saving)
15-night San Francisco to Hawaii in October 2020: $1,821 ($352 saving)
15-night San Francisco to Hawaii in January 2021: $1,919 ($372 saving)
10-night San Francisco to Alaska in July 2021: $2,679 ($400 saving)
The ship is expected to spend up to 10 days in Port Kembla as its 1,040 crew members undergo medical assessments, treatment or emergency extractions.
Around 200 workers have symptoms of the illness and no crew members are allowed to leave without permission from NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller.
NSW Police said it would investigate whether national bio-security laws and state laws were broken.
‘From my perspective there are many unanswered questions,’ Mr Fuller said.
‘There seems to be absolute discrepancies between the information provided by Carnival and what I would see is the benchmark for the laws of the federal and state government.’
The NSW government is under fire after leaked emails revealed results of on board swab tests from the cruise ship’s passengers who were showing signs of influenza would have been available the same day passengers disembarked.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard is standing behind his staff who had allowed the Ruby Princess cruise ship to disembark in Sydney on March 19, despite knowing the results would be known within hours.
Defending the decision, NSW Health said in a statement on April 3 that transmission could not have been prevented by staff and the ‘vast majority’ of those diagnosed did not display symptoms until off the ship.
The Ruby Princess is currently docked in Port Kembla, near Wollongong. A criminal investigation into why passengers were allowed off is underway
‘The Ruby Princess was assessed as low risk, based on the level of illness on board, the negative COVID-19 tests done on passengers while in New Zealand, and the positive influenza tests done on a large proportion of the passengers with influenza like illness,’ it read.
A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command are investigating the communications and actions which led to the fiasco.
The first briefing into the investigation was held on Wednesday morning, NSW Police said.
High-priority witnesses will be interviewed in the coming days with police urging anyone with relevant information to contact Crime Stoppers.
Timeline of Ruby Princess fiasco
March 18: The Ruby Princess issues an urgent mayday call for an ambulance for two of its passengers presenting with coronavirus-like symptoms 24 hours before the ship is allowed to dock in Sydney.
March 19: The Ruby Princess arrives in Sydney Harbour. More than 2,700 guests are allowed to disembark without adequate health checks.
March 25: Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram says New South Wales Health is responsible for letting coronavirus patients disembark the ship.
March 29: Several crew members are evacuated and taken to hospital after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
April 2: A 66-year-old crew member is taken off the Ruby Princess for medical treatment. More than 200 crew members are sick and in self-isolation.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian defends the actions of NSW Health and the Australian Border Force and points the finger at the Ruby Princess. She claims staff onboard may have misled NSW Health about the extent of illnesses in passengers.
April 3: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton alleges Ruby Princess’ operators weren’t transparent about the health of crew: ‘It was ‘clear that some of the companies have been lying about the health of passengers and crew on board’.
April 4: Leaked emails show NSW Health knew of the coronavirus risk on board the Ruby Princess before allowing its thousands of passengers to disembark.
April 5: A criminal investigation is launched into how passengers were able to disembark without health checks
April 8: A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command start investigating the handling of the Ruby Princess coronavirus scandal. The first briefing into the investigation is held.