Passengers on world cruise expected to disembark after spending weeks without docking

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ROME — Passengers on a luxury liner’s around-the-world cruise, begun before the globe was gripped by the coronavirus pandemic, are finally approaching the end of their odyssey after 15 weeks at sea.

Their ship, the Costa Deliziosa, heads to ports in Spain and Italy, two of the countries most devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.

Costa Crociere, an Italian cruise company, said Saturday that the Deliziosa, which set sail from Venice in early January with 1,831 passengers, has reached the western Mediterranean, with no cases of COVID-19 aboard.

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The Deliziosa, a nearly 300-metre (1,000-foot) vessel, will disembark 168 Spanish passengers early next week at the port of Barcelona, Spain, the company said. Then the Deliziosa will head to its final destination, Genoa, Italy, where it is expected to disembark the remaining passengers, Italians and those of other nationalities, on Wednesday.

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A company spokesman said a passenger left the ship earlier in the week in Marsala, Sicily, for health issues but not because of the coronavirus.

Canadian consular officials say the ship is one of several where citizens remain on board despite the pandemic.

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