It has survived norovirus, SARS and MERS, as well as regular outbreaks of gastroenteritis and legionnaires’ disease. But coronavirus has dealt the cruise ship industry what looks like a crippling blow.

The 338 ships that make up the industry’s fleet are docked. Carnival, the world’s largest cruise company, is haemorrhaging $1bn a month to maintain its fleet. Governments have issued “no sail” edicts and the majority of the 32-million passengers the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) projected would sail in 2020 are stuck at home.

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