Princess Cruises’ South African crew members have finally been repatriated home after more than two months in limbo when the global cruise industry was shut down due to Coronavirus.
Princess Cruises was one of the first cruise lines to pause its global operations as the Coronavirus pandemic began to spread worldwide.
Thousands of crew members from several dozen nations were left stranded at sea and the cruise line began to plan the mammoth task of repatriating them all, using its cruise ships.
Island Princess is one of several cruise ships the cruise line is using. It docked in Cape Town this week to offload South African crew members from across the Princess fleet.
As they were entering Cape Town harbour, the cruise line played the South African National Anthem for its homesick crew.
“Most of the crew are from various Asian countries, and South Africans from 4 different ships in Miami were collected and placed here to repatriate us,” a crew member told Cape Town Etc, which originally shared the video.
“The rest will continue on to India, Philippines and other countries. Unfortunately they all have to wait while our COVID tests are being done. They all want to get home to their families too,” he added.
Island Princess is now underway to Mumbai, India. The Cape Town call for the cruise liner was its first since departing Miami.
This was the second Princess Cruises ship to dock in Cape Town this week, on the same day, Crown Princess had arrived to offload more South African cruise members.
Holland America Line’s Volendam also called in Cape Town recently to offload South African crew.
The arrival of cruise ships in the Mother City had initially confused many residents, as the port is meant to be closed to cruise operations.
There are approximately 100,000 crew members from all over the world stuck aboard cruise ships as cruise lines work with local authorities from dozens of countries to put together a repatriation plan.
Royal Caribbean recently confirmed that it has ten cruise ships underway to several countries to offload crew.
Recently, up to a dozen cruise ships filled Manila Bay as the world’s cruise lines arrived to repatriate its Filipina crew members. Stunning footage from the bay was shared by Cruise Hive.
Categories: SA Cruise News