Bahamas turns away cruise ship

The Bahamas has turned away a cruise ship due to reports of cases of Covid-19 aboard The Bahamas turned away a cruise ship that was docked at the cruise line’s private port on an uninhabited island.

MSC Cruises’ new cruise ship the MSC Seashore (IMO 9843792) arrived at the company’s private island of Ocean Cay in the Bahamas on December 29th. Passengers were preparing to disembark for their day on the beach and in the ocean conservation facilities when the captain informed them that the ship would remain at sea for the day.

In a note distributed to passengers the ship’s Captain Galano said that “unfortunately, and unlike most ports of call, the government of the Bahamas has decided to force us to cancel our call at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve today out of an abundance of caution.” The vessel had to stay at sea for an additional day as a result.

The captain reported that “a limited number,” of Covid-19 cases had been identified among the crew, as well as a handful of guests, during the five-day cruise from Miami. MSC reported that all of its crew were vaccinated and tested every two days for the virus, while passengers aged 12 and older were also required to be vaccinated. All passengers ages two years and up have to test negative before boarding the cruise ship.

The majority were reported to be asymptomatic and “feeling well.” All the passengers and crew that tested positive were isolated and were being monitored. The captain in his letter also reminded passengers that they are required to be wearing masks indoors and physical distancing.

It was unclear why the MSC Seashore’s passengers were unable to go ashore on the private island. A very few maintenance workers live on the island and some Bahamians work there, but the port is mostly for cruise passengers. The island opened in December 2019 as its private destination.

Other cruise lines appeared to be continuing their calls at their private ports in the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line, all have private ports. Other cruise ships stop at Nassau, Freeport. Virgin Cruises has a dedicated beach Club on Bimini.

2021-built, Malta-flagged, 170,412 gt MSC Seashore is owned by Evo 1 Compania Naviera SA care of MSC Cruise Management UK of Uxbridge, UK. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd.