For cruise ships and their passengers that were still at sea when coronavirus took over the world, it’s been one nightmare after another. Ports closed whether ships were deemed “healthy” or not, and ships were essentially stranded in the ocean, unable to make land anywhere.
Over time, and with careful negotiations, most ships have been allowed to port in various docks around the world. But there had still been 3 ships with about 4,000 passengers that still were at sea.
They are finally disembarking today.
The ship had docked in Australia on March 21 and allowed a number of passengers to disembark and fly home. However, the ship had some passengers who were unable to fly due to unspecified medical reasons. Those 115 passengers are set to disembark in Los Angeles today, where they will begin a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
Swiss-owned MSC Magnifica left Genoa, Italy in January, for what was to be a 117-day cruise. Back then, the “unknown pneumonia” had only affected 59 people, and hadn’t yet even been fatal. How times changed. The BBC wrote a great piece on what the ship had been through since the virus started making its way around the world – but, miraculously, never to that ship.
The MSC Magnifica will finally disembark in France today. Its 1700 passengers will arrive in a world that’s very different from when they left.
The Costa Delioza was another long-term cruise – it had left Venice on January 5 for a round-the-world tour. But because of the virus, no one would let them port since March 14th.
They were finally allowed to disembark today, in Barcelona. 1800 passengers finally stepped on land for the first time in 5 weeks. The ship is now on its way to Genoa, Italy to drop off its final few hundred passengers, all Italians.
There are still nearly 125 ships at sea, with 95,000 crew members of varying nationalities on board. Those brave, hard working men and women have no clear timeline of when or how they’ll be able to return to their respective home countries, some of which have closed their doors to even their own citizens. Negotiations on their behalf continue.
But at this time, it looks like all cruise passengers will finally be off all cruise ships.
*** Feature Photo (cropped): Roger W/flickr
#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary