Three cruise ships to dock at Port of Oakland; no link to COVID-19 infections

Port of Oakland.

Three cruise ships are expected to dock at the Port of Oakland over the weekend and will sit idle with only crew onboard while the U.S. embargoes cruise operations, officials said on Friday. 

The Port said that it has not received reports of any cases of coronavirus associated with the vessels. 

Two Norwegian Cruise Line vessels will tie up at Oakland’s Outer Harbor Terminal, which is currently not in use for the port’s container shipping business. Another will dock at Howard Terminal on the Oakland Estuary. The ships could remain at berth for 2-to-3 months, according to the cruise line. 

The first two ships are scheduled to arrive on Saturday and the third on Sunday. 

The Port said it is making berth space available because approximately 100 cruise ships worldwide are seeking safe harbor.

“We’re a container port, but we’re still in the shipping business,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “These ships are under federal requirements to report health concerns, and we understand that they haven’t had a history of coronavirus, so we’ll do what we can to help.”

Port officials said the three vessels will be managed by small crews and there are no plans for crew members to disembark in Oakland. 

If crew members get off the boat, the cruise line must follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control first, which would require submitting a disembarkation plan to state, federal and Port authorities.

The federal government has suspended cruise operations at U.S. ports during the coronavirus pandemic. Most cruise lines globally have suspended operations.