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The Ruby Princess by Duncan McNab


This is a must-read account if you want to know what went wrong on The Ruby Princess last year – and also the dark side of luxury cruise ships. Duncan McNab is an award-winning investigative journalist, and he has written a comprehensive account about The Ruby Princess and how this became a 21st-century plague ship.


In the early hours of 18 March 2020, the Ruby Princess docked at Sydney’s Circular Quay, a gateway to all Australia. 2700 passengers disembarked without any health checks, despite a pandemic running amok around the planet. A few days later, passengers got the bad news. The Covid-19 virus had infected some on the ship. Eventually, 700 passengers would be infected, and 22 passengers would die from the disease. And once all the passengers disembarked, it was a viral bomb going off, a super-spreader that would cause multiple cases in Australia and beyond.


This is a damning account of negligence and corporate greed, leading to death and disaster. The author does a superb and meticulous job of documenting the causes of this spectacular quarantine failure and the lives of the victims and their families. The Ruby Princess is page-turning and comprehensive.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Macmillan Publishers, RRP $39.99