It’s been five days since CLIA member lines declared a suspension of cruise operations due to the Covid-19 crisis, but several cruise ships are still at sea with passengers, and some are having trouble finding ports to disembark.

CLIA said that as of March 17, about 20% of ships were completing final itineraries.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel, currently on a 23-day Australia and French Polynesia itinerary, was supposed to disembark in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 20. Due to multiple port closures in the area, the ship is now scheduled to disembark in Honolulu on March 22.

Holland America Line’s Maasdam this week had to forego plans to dock at Hawaii Island because it has closed to cruise ship calls. The Maasdam does not have any known or suspected cases of coronavirus, and now plans to disembark in Honolulu on March 20.

Holland America said the Zaandam had not been allowed to disembark in Punta Arenas, Chile, on March 16, so it left the port and headed for San Antonio, Chile, to pick up fuel and other supplies. The ship is not in quarantine and has no known or suspected cases of Covid-19, the company said. The ship had been on a 14-day sailing in South America scheduled to end March 21. Holland America said it does not currently know where it will disembark. 

The Amsterdam, currently sailing an around-the-world cruise that started on Jan. 4, was originally scheduled to end the sailing in Fort Lauderdale on May 12. It will now disembark in Fremantle, Australia, on March 21.

The fate of two Silversea ships is up in the air after passengers on both tested positive for Covid-19 on March 14.

Two guests on the Silver Shadow departed the ship for medical reasons in Recife, Brazil, one that subsequently tested positive for the virus; the other was negative, the company said in a statement.

Several guests onboard the Silver Explorer left the ship for medical reasons in Tortel and Castro, Chile, and later tested positive for Covid-19. Parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. declined to say how many passengers had tested positive.

“We are in continuous contact with the various government authorities relating to transport. This work continues,” the company said in a statement.

The cruise line said it has asked guests on both ships “to temporarily remain in their cabins in accordance with our medical isolation protocols.”

“On behalf of our guests, we are in close coordination with the governments and local health authorities to determine next best steps,” the company said.

ASTA CEO Zane Kerby criticized ports for turning away cruise ships.

“Over the course of the past few weeks, a disturbing and anti-humanitarian trend has emerged,” he said in a written statement. “Multiple cruise ships at sea have been denied entry to various ports around the world for fear that some aboard might have or spread the Covid-19 virus.” 

“While local governments have a responsibility to keep their citizens safe, human decency and common-sense solutions should take precedence during these times of crisis,” he said.

The British ship Braemar, operated by Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, has also had a harrowing journey over the last several days.

On March 10, one guest and four crew members tested positive for the virus. Later, one more guest who had originally gotten an inconclusive result was confirmed to be positive. As a result, the Braemar did not get clearance to disembark gusts in Barbados on March 12.

The ship spent three days in the Bahamas with 682 guests before Cuban authorities granted it permission to disembark in Havana and fly back to the United Kingdom.

The Braemar docked in Havana on Wednesday. Three flights were chartered from British Airways to fly guests to London Heathrow in the evening. 

Those who have coronavirus or have displayed flu-like symptoms along with their companions will return on a separate flight arriving at MoD Boscombe, an air force base in Wiltshire, England. Any guests not considered well enough to fly will receive medical treatment in Cuba. 

Fred.Olsen managing director Peter Deer thanked the Cuban government for allowing the ship to dock.

“Other countries would not allow Braemar to dock once we had confirmed cases of coronavirus onboard,” he said.


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