Princess Cruises will halt global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months.

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New York (CNN Business)Princess Cruises will halt global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months, after two of its ships carried passengers who were diagnosed with the coronavirus.The move came after another cruise ship operator, Viking, announced it would also suspend all ocean and river cruises until May 1. Viking has 16 ocean-going ships and more than 70 vessels overall.

No part of the travel industry has been hit harder by the coronavirus outbreak than the cruise industry. Demand for cruises has fallen dramatically. Health authorities have urged the elderly not to take cruises, which could expose them to the virus.

Princess Cruises said that it will suspend operations within the next five days. It will, however, continue to sail through the end of its ships' current itineraries so that passengers' travel arrangements are not disrupted. Current voyages that are underway and extend beyond March 17 will end at what the company determines to be the most convenient location for guests to disembark.

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