Cruise lines continue efforts to get their ships back to port, and passengers home

The decision by the main cruise industry players on March 13th to suspend their cruise operations for 30 days continues to unwind for some of the vessels on longer journeys. with several cruise ships still working to return to port.

The number of cruise ships with passengers still on board has declined steadily.

The bulk of the cruise fleet is now idled in ports and anchorages around the world. Crew morale is now the focus, with passenger entertainment teams now organizing activities for crew members.

P&O Cruises’ Britannia has completed a transit from the Caribbean to Southampton, England, where she arrived on March 23rd. Similarly, Oceania Cruises’ Marina disembarked passengers in Miami, Florida. She had been denied disembarkation in both Lima and Santiago. Other cruise ships were still seeking ports that would let them disembark their passengers.

Port closures have forced some ships to extend their voyages. The Celebrity Eclipse and the Azamara Pursuit are returning to the US after making only a technical call at Valparaiso. Holland America’s Maasdam made a technical call in Honolulu before continuing on to San Diego, ETA March 27th.

Several ships have begun operating the old traditional liner run. P&O Cruises Arcadia is currently making a technical call at Durban. She will then operate the traditional Union Castle liner voyage to Southampton, ETA April 12th. The Queen Mary 2 is following a similar route, carrying the passengers from her world cruise who were unable to make the long-distance flights from Australia. Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Columbus should transit the Suez Canal on April 2nd, also en route to Southampton.

The last of the cruise ships is expected to reach a disembarkation port early in April.