Carnival's Diamond Princess cruise ship delays return to sailing to spring

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Cruise ship Diamond Princess passes by a small boat as it heads out to sea from Vancouver, British Columbia, August 30, 2008.REUTERS/Andy Clark/File Photo

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Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Diamond Princess cruise ship, which became one of the earliest hotbeds for coronavirus infections when the pandemic broke out last year, will delay its return to sailing to spring of 2022, vessel operator Princess Cruises said on Wednesday.

Carnival Corp (CCL.N)-owned Princess Cruises said it had canceled the ship's planned fall cruise in South America that was meant to mark its return to service. It also canceled the ship's Antarctica voyage that was set for spring next year.

The ship will now instead return next year for a season of sailings in Japan, the country where it was stranded in last year following hundreds of infections onboard. At the time, the ship had the biggest concentration of cases outside China.

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Carnival did not respond to a request for comment on the reason for the delay in the resumption of cruises by Diamond Princess.

A passenger on one of the company's cruise ships, the Carnival Vista, died earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19.

Princess Cruises, which restarted sailing last month, also delayed the return of service for its Island Princess cruise ship.

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Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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