Thousands of cruise ship passengers still at sea

Although cruise ships worldwide effectively suspended cruises a month ago, as of late last week there were still seven large cruise ships, with 6,000 passengers still on board, that continued to be at sea.

Many of the passengers boarded round-the-world cruises months ago. Only one of the vessels, the Greg Mortimer (IMO 9834648), has reported cases of Covid-19 aboard.

Five of the vessels planned to dock before the end of April.

Two planned to dock on Sunday April 12th – the Greg Mortimer, which arrived in port on Saturday. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has given the cruise industry until April 16th to come up with an improved plan to get the final 6,000-plus passengers and tens of thousands of crew members back on land safely.

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said that its earlier proposals to contain the virus were “far-reaching”. They continued to emphasize the economic consequences if the order were kept in place for too long.

The Miami Herald said that were seven ships still at sea with passengers on board and four in or near ports with passengers still on board.

The Pacific Princess (IMO 9187887) left Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on January 5th for a 111-day world cruise. After coronavirus cut it short, most passengers disembarked and flew home when the ship docked on March 21st in Fremantle, Australia. However, 115 passengers remained on board. Some did not meet the International Air Transport Association’s fitness standards for air travel, while others had non-Covid-19-related medical conditions that made travel by plane impossible. The Pacific Princess planned to unload four Hawaiian residents in Honolulu on Monday April 13th when the vessel docked to refuel, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported. From there the vessel is sailing to Los Angeles to disembark the other 111 passengers on April 24th.

The MSC Magnifica (IMO 9387085) departed from Italy in January on a 116-day cruise and originally was due to dock in Rome on April 29th. Two weeks ago she docked in Western Australia without allowing anyone ashore. The Australian government said the ship had been inconsistent with its reporting of the health of the passengers. Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said that at least 250 of the 1,771 passengers were suffering upper respiratory illness, but MSC denied this. The line has declined to comment on its final destination. As of Saturday she was passing through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, between Yemen and Eritrea.

The Costa Deliziosa (IMO 9398917) left Venice on January 5th with a scheduled return date of April 26th. The company said that it was working with Italian officials to find a port where she could disembark. Carnival Corp, which owns Costa Cruises, stopped sailing of March 13th, but the Costa Deliziosa’s sailing continued. “The current world tour itinerary will be completed to allow guests to disembark and return home,” the cruise line said. The ship has 1,830 guests and 899 crew members on board. On Saturday the vessel was just off the coast of Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Columbus (IMO 8611398), owned by the UK’s Cruise & Maritime Voyages, departed London on January 6th for a 120-day world cruise. It planned to dock at London Cruise Terminal on April 14th with 907 passengers and 619 crew members on board.

The Astor (IMO 8506373), also owned by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, was expected to dock in Bremerhaven, Germany on April 12th

The Arcadia (IMO 9226906), owned by P&O Cruises, was scheduled to dock as originally scheduled in Southampton, UK on April 12th with 1,375 guests and 836 crew on board, following a 100-day world cruiser. P&O is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp.

Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 (IMO 9241061) planned to dock in Southampton in the coming weeks. Most passengers disembarked in Fremantle, Western Australia in mid-March, although 264 guests remained on board. She began a 113-day New York to New York world voyage on January 3rd. Cunard is owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp. At the weekend the ship was off the coast of Morocco.

2019-built, Bahamas-flagged, 8,035 gt Greg Mortimer is owned by Greg Mortimer Owner Ltd care of manager Sunstone Ships Inc of Miami, Florida. ISM manager is Cruise management Intl Inc of Miami, Florida. It is entered with American Club.

1999-built, Bermuda-flagged, 30,312 gt Pacific Princess is owned and managed by Princess Cruise Lines Ltd of Valencia, California, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual and with UK Club.

2010-built, Panama-flagged, 95,128 gt MSC Magnifica is owned by S32 Leasing Co Ltd care of manager MSC of Geneva, Switzerland. ISM manager is MSC Cruise Management UK of Uxbridge, UK. It is entered with UK Club (Area Group E1 EMEA) on behalf of MSC Cruise Management (UK) Ltd.

2010-built, Italy-flagged, 92,720 gt Costa Deliziosa is owned and managed by Costa Crociere of Genoa, Italy. ISM manager is carnival Maritime GmbH of Hamburg, Germany. It is entered with Steamship Mutual, Gard, and UK Club.

1989-built, Bahamas-flagged, 63,786 gt Columbus is owned by Lyric Cruise Ltd care of manager Global Cruise Lines Ltd of Athens, Greece. It is entered with American Club on behalf of Lyric Cruise Ltd.

1987-built, Bahamas-flagged, 20,704 gt Astor is owned by Passion Shipping & Investment care of manager Global Cruise LIns of Athens, Greece. It is entered with American Club on behalf of Passion Shipping & Investment Co Ltd.

2005-built, Bermuda-flagged, 84,342 gt Arcadia is owned and managed by Carnival PLC of Southampton, UK. It is entered with Steamship Mutual and with UK Club.

2003-built Queen Mary 2 is owned and managed by Carnival and entered with UK Club and Steamship.