Passengers Aboard the Only Three Cruise Ships Remaining at Sea Are Finally Disembarking Today (Video)
The MSC Magnifica, the Costa Deliziosa, and the Pacific Princess are all letting their passengers off.
After weeks of sailing around the world, the last three cruise ships with passengers still aboard will return to their home ports on Monday.
The MSC Magnifica set sail from Genoa, Italy on January 5 — when COVID-19 was barely making headlines — for what was supposed to be an epic cruise around the world. The 116-night itinerary included 43 stops around the globe, from the Mediterranean to French Polynesia. But when the ship finally docked in Marseille, France on Monday, its 1,769 passengers had not touched land for more than six weeks.
As ports around the world began to close a month into their journey, all passengers were ordered to remain on board out of fear of picking up the virus on land. When they reached Sydney, the captain confirmed that the world cruise was over and that they would be returning home to Europe. All passengers who wanted to disembark in Sydney and find their own way home were allowed to do so. But almost 2,000 passengers remained on the ship, ready for a five-week journey across the world and back to Europe.
"We found ourselves [globally] in a situation where COVID-19 has been isolating people, and distancing people," Captain Leotta told The BBC. "Here was the opposite. We became like a family - our guests and our crew together. The spirit has been beautiful."
Meanwhile, the Costa Deliziosa cruise ship’s 15-week sail also came to an end in Barcelona on Monday. The ship left Venice in January and set sail towards Australia. They were on the opposite side of the world when it was decided they would have to come home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
But it ended up being a “stroke of good luck” to be aboard a ship while the coronavirus spread around the world, passengers told The Associated Press. Because the Costa Deliziosa didn’t have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its 1,831 passengers so they were free to use all of the onboard facilities while they cruised back from Australia. The ship had been navigating for 35 days straight, unable to dock in any ports, when it finally arrived in Barcelona on Monday.
And the Pacific Princess will return to its home port in Los Angeles on Monday with 115 passengers aboard. Four passengers were let off in Hawaii and were transported home to quarantine for 14 days, Hawaiian news site KHON2 reported.
According to a press release from Princess Cruises, the ship left Fort Lauderdale on January 5 for a 111-day cruise World Cruise. Most of the ship’s passengers disembarked in Australia on March 21 when the severity of the coronavirus outbreak became more clear, but the rest are still on a voyage home after disembarking.
Princess Cruises also announced in March that they were pausing all operations for 60 days due to coronavirus.
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