Coronavirus Pushes Japanese Cruise Operator into Bankruptcy

A Japanese cruise operator has been forced to file for bankruptcy after the coronavirus outbreak contributed to the company’s financial downfall.

On March 2, 2020, Luminous Cruise Co. Ltd., which operates a restaurant cruise ship in Kobe, filed a petition with the Kobe District Court for the commencement of civil rehabilitation proceedings.

Consequently, the 4,778-gross ton vessel which can accommodate 2,000 passengers has been removed from service.

The move has been prompted by customer cancellations related to the massive COVID-19 outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. The virus claimed the lives of six passengers quarantined on the cruise ship.

Other causes of bankruptcy include a 2018 earthquake, heavy rains, and typhoons coupled with rising fuel costs, according to Luminous Cruise.

The cruise operator’s debts now stand at JPY 1.243 billion (USD 11.6 million), the Japan Times reported.

Last month, more than 700 people onboard the 3,700-passenger Diamond Princess were tested positive for COVID-19 after facing weeks-long quarantine measures on the ship. This case and several others related to the coronavirus outbreak have negatively affected the cruise industry. Many cruise lines canceled or modified their sailings and implemented different prevention measures affecting the companies’ overall financial performance.

World Maritime News Staff