Seattle cruise line sells four ships

SEATTLE (AP) – A Seattle-based cruise line has sold four ships in its fleet as the coronavirus pandemic has halted operations and subsequently slowed businesses that rely on incoming traffic from the industry.

Holland America Line made the announcement after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday extended a ban on cruises in United States (US) waters until the end of September to limit the spread of COVID-19, KING-TV reported.

Holland America is selling the Amsterdam, Maasdam, Rotterdam and Veendam, which reduces its fleet to 10, the company said.

All cruises booked on the ships will be cancelled or changed.

Seattle anticipated a record 1.2 million visitors this year, but the pandemic left countries questioning the safety of allowing potentially contagious passengers to disembark.

“Compared to last summer, it was crowds of people walking through shoulder to shoulder, now it’s not that at all,” said Ngozi Archbold, working at the Pappardelle’s pasta stand in Pike Place Market. “Just like two to three people walking in groups.”

Shops and restaurants, like Pappardelle’s pasta stand, have struggled since businesses have relied on tourists for income.