FILE - In this June 4, 2010, file photo, the Maasdam, a 1258-passenger cruise ship, sits at anchor in Frenchman's Bay off Bar Harbor, Maine. Its port call in Hilo was canceled, and state officials said Honolulu was the preferred harbor. The Maasdam, with 842 guests and 542 crew members, is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu Friday.
Norwegian Cruise Line said that one of its vessels that had been turned away by Fiji and New Zealand is expected to disembark in Honolulu on Sunday. The Norwegian Jewel, with about 2,000 passengers, refueled in American Samoa but was not allowed to disembark at the Port of Pago Pago.
New measures to seal off borders to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus have left cruise ships stranded in the Caribbean, South America and Europe, with local governments denying permission to disembark as more cases of infected passengers have come to light.
The Maasdam, operated by Holland America Line, had its port call canceled in Hilo and is set to arrive Friday to Honolulu Harbor, state officials said.
Officials were still working on a plan for the ships' arrivals, said Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Hawaii Department of Transportation.
When all U.S. cruise ships announced a 30 day no cruise period, both vessels were already at sea.
"It has been confirmed that there will be no disembarking of passengers, not even to go straight from the port directly to Honolulu airport to catch their flight home", Gabbard said.
Sources have told Sky News the ship will be disembarked soon after passengers were delayed most of the day on Thursday from being able to depart the ship.
Ige on Tuesday asked people to postpone island vacations for at least 30 days as the state tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Passengers on a cruise ship which has docked in Melbourne are being tested for COVID-19 after some on board displayed symptoms of the virus. The ship departed from the Philippines on March 2 with with 680 crew and 18 contract service staff, who all tested negative for COVID-19 in mid-February, the cruise line said in a statement.
Both ships are ultimately bound for "mainland destinations", DOT Director Jade Butay said in a statement, but the specific sites weren't immediately clear.