- Carnival undertakes massive crew repatriation by ships.
- Over the next several days, eighteen Carnival Cruise Line ships will meet at a position off of The Bahamas.
- Selected crew members will transfer between these ships using tenders.
- Following transfer, nine of the ships will depart with more than 10,000 crew members to return them to their home countries.
- Crew members who will be returning home have undergone a health check and have been cleared fit for travel by Carnival’s medical team
A fleet of 18 Carnival Cruise Line ships will rendezvous in The Bahamas to help repatriate more than 10,000 healthy crew members, reports Seatrade Cruise News and Maritime Executive.
Ships employed to supply essentials
The ships will gather over the next few days as the final plans are put in place to sail nine of the ships to repatriate the crew members who remain on board due to restrictions limiting air travel to Asia, Africa, Europe, India and Latin America because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The ships have been at various US homeports provisioning supplies and bunkering fuel for their journeys. Certain crew will join ships using water shuttles off the coast of The Bahamas.
Once completed, nine ships will sail to their destinations with crew members from North American-based ships on board.
The remaining nine ships will spend most of their time in anchorage positions in The Bahamas or Panama and eventually all ships will reduce their crew numbers to safe operational manning levels.
Crew safety is the chief priority
President of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, said: “The safety and well-being of our team members continue to be a top priority.”
“Given the pause in our operations, we are committed to getting our crew members safely home to their families. We sincerely thank them for their hard work, patience and understanding during this process,” he said.
He added, “We would also like to thank the government of The Bahamas for their support of this operation, as well as the CDC, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and local port agencies.”
Routine monitoring of the crew
Crew members who will be returning home have undergone a health check and cleared fit for travel by Carnival’s medical team. The company has been working closely with immigration officials in arriving countries on an efficient debarkation process.
All crew members have their temperature taken daily and will do so again during the debarkation process, and follow enhanced operational protocols to ensure the health and safety of the crew.
Prior to its pause in operations on 13 March, Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet of 27 ships had nearly 29,000 crew members on board.
Air charters for repatriation
Carnival has since repatriated more than 10,000 crew via flights and another 10,000 will be traveling on the nine voyages leaving this week.
Approximately 6,000 additional crew will be repatriated by air charters or three ships that have already departed from Australia and Long Beach.
Once these movements are completed, the Carnival fleet will be down to approximately 3,000 crew members identified for safe operational manning, plus several hundred that will be repatriated as quickly as possible.
Carnival has extended its pause of operations until 27 June.
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Source: Seatrade Cruise News, Maritime Executive