Last cruise ship at sea finally reaches port
Last cruise ship at sea finally reaches port
A global race to bring cruise passengers home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic reached its end on Tuesday as the last large-scale offshore vessel headed for the Italian port of Genoa to disembark passengers.
Before docking, Costa Deliziosa, which left Venice on January 5 for a round the world trip, was identified by Cruise Lines International Association as the only one of its ships still carrying large numbers of passengers.
The association, known as CLIA, is an umbrella organization that covers 95% of all cruise ships, including those belonging to the largest operators in the industry.
The arrival of Costa Deliziosa in Genoa follows efforts by many cruise operators around the world to bring their ships home safely and repatriate those on board, amid numerous virus epidemics that have left the industry in shock.
Some ships have struggled to find a safe harbor, with destination authorities refusing them for fear that the disease will spread. Other vessels have been subject to controversial quarantines.
Costa Cruises said on Tuesday that there were 1,519 passengers on board and 898 crew members on board the Deliziosa.
The ship was originally scheduled to return to Venice on April 26 after a 113-day voyage. The vessel was allowed to continue sailing even after operator Costa Cruises – an Italian subsidiary of the American company Carnival Corporation – suspended its other crossings in March.
This decision follows CLIA’s decision to cease all operations from American ports, as the coronavirus pandemic has worsened and epidemics have been reported on several vessels.
Although the Costa Deliziosa continued to sail around the world, before this week, no one had left the ship for more than a month.
Some passengers disembarked and returned home when the ship called in Perth, Australia on March 16. The only passengers allowed to disembark were those on reserved flights.
The ship docked in Barcelona on April 20, where 183 Spanish and Portuguese passengers left the ship and 112 French guests, the cruise line said.
The other passengers, including Americans, Italians and some French citizens, are expected to leave the ship in Genoa.
“I still have no idea what it means for me to return to the United States,” she said on Monday. “I don’t know if we’re staying on the ship waiting for a flight, let’s go to the hotel or if a flight will be offered on Wednesday.”
The cruise line said on Tuesday that it had “arranged transportation to the various countries of residence”.
Lindberg said her trip to the Costa Deliziosa was “a unique trip” she had planned since early 2018.
On board the world cruise in January, Lindberg did not consider that the itinerary would be affected. It was not until February, when fears of Covid-19 intensified, that the ship revised its voyage to avoid Asia.
There are no reports of Covid-19 on board. The people on board were briefly quarantined in their rooms after a passenger left the ship in Sicily for health reasons, but the quarantine was lifted after this passenger had tested negative for Covid-19.
End of the world cruise
MSC Magnifica docked in Marsielle, France on April 20.
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP via Getty Images
Costa Deliziosa’s scheduled stowage on Tuesday follows the arrival of two other CLIA cruise ships a day earlier.
The MSC Magnifica disembarked its passengers in Marseille, France, ending a global trip which also started in January but which, since March 10, has involved only stops to get fuel and supplies.
There were no cases of Covid-19 on board.
“I think it is safe to say that this is an unprecedented situation and I am not sure that anyone has ever experienced something like this,” said Magnifica captain Roberto Leotta in a statement.
“But the trip was not dramatic at all. Our customers are very happy. They have always been safe and received the same service as on a normal cruise.”
Leotta described the crew and passengers on board as a “big family”.
The cruise ship Pacific Princess is presented alongside at the port of Los Angeles on April 20.
Mario Tama / Getty Images
In the United States, the Pacific Princess arrived in Los Angeles on April 20 after setting sail on a 111-day world cruise in January.
Most of its passengers had returned home to the United States after disembarking in Australia on or about March 21. Only passengers who could not fly for medical reasons remained on the ship.
Princess Cruises said there were 115 passengers on board and no known cases of Covid-19.
Artania on March 28, when it was docked in Fremantle, Australia.
Paul Kane / Getty Images
Although Deliziosa is the last CLIA ship to arrive at the port, there is still a cruise ship with a handful of passengers on board that has not yet docked.
The cruise ship Pheonix Reisen Artania is currently back in Germany with eight passengers, according to the cruise line.
The cruise ship Artania embarked on a 140-day global cruise from Hamburg, Germany, to Bremerhaven, Germany, on December 21, 2019.
Some 36 passengers tested positive for Covid-19 following a check by Australian health authorities upon the arrival of Artania in Fremantle, Western Australia.
In a statement, Phoenix Reisen said the passengers were then disembarked and quarantined at local hospitals.
Another passenger disembarked and tested positive for coronavirus at the start of the trip.
Three people who were on the ship have since died – two male passengers and one male crew member.
Healthy passengers remained on the ship until their repatriation flights, which took place on March 29. The majority of the passengers on board came from Germany.
The Artania was quarantined at Fremantle for 14 days before being allowed to leave Australia on April 18. He is now returning to Germany via Southeast Asia. He is scheduled to stop in Bali on April 23 and Manila on April 28 to bring some of the crew members home.
The eight passengers on board the Artania have chosen to return by sea for health reasons.
The ship is expected in Bremerhaven on May 31, 2020.