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April 27 updates: Quantum first back to offload crew in China, Carnival brands repatriate crews by ship, Disney/AQSC delay, May 1 seafarer salute

CRUISE Quantum of the Seas Shanghai.jpeg
Quantum of the Seas became the first internatioal cruise ship to return to a Chinese homeport
Here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

First cruise ship homecoming for Chinese crew

Royal Caribbean Cruises' Quantum of the Seas berthed at Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, bringing the 353 Chinese crew home after 66 days at sea. All tested negative for coronavirus.

Quantum of the Seas is the first international cruise ship returning to a Chinese homeport after the COVID-19 outbreak came under control there.

With the support of Shanghai municipal government and Baoshan district authority, Shanghai took the lead in arranging a berth.

'We are working closely with government authorities on a safe voyage resumption plan, and we are confident on the resumption of cruising and the recovery of the market,' said Royal Caribbean's Zinan Liu, managing director, China and Asia.

Carnival crew repatriations by ship

Carnival Cruise Line has begun the process of returning healthy crew members to their home countries using its ships as transport. Ships are leaving their homeports and anchoring locations to meet up with other ships in the fleet and allow crew members to join the vessels that will transport them home.

Carnival identified a number of ships from its North American homeports to travel to ports in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Since mid-March all of Carnival's 27 ships have been docked at homeports or at anchorage with no passengers on board. Some ships have been underway.

As earlier reported, Carnival Panorama's reported destination is the Philippines. Carnival Splendor is currently off Jakarta, Indonesia.

Princess, HAL and Seabourn, too

@PrincessCruises tweeted this: 'We did something incredible, something no one ever could think of, something you have never been trained for, but we did! Six ships close to each other exchanging a large number of crews. Well done everyone, we are Princess.' — Raffaele G. Ansante, Sky Princess safety officer.

Another Princess tweet elaborated: 'Due to air travel restrictions, we (along with @HALcruises & @SeabournCruise) have actioned a repatriation plan to sail our team members home to Europe, Africa, Asia & Canada. Thank you to every teammate who continues to take care of all who remain on board & get them safely home.'

Disney delay

Disney Cruise Line further delayed departures through June 18, and Disney Magic's Europe sailings through July 2. As earlier reported, Vancouver sailings are canceled through June. 

AQSC, too

American Queen Steamboat Co. extended its operations suspension across all boats through June 21. Passengers on canceled cruises are offered a full refund or a 125% future cruise credit. Refunds will be processed within 90 days.

Horns to sound for International Workers' Day

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers Federation are encouraging captains on all ships to sound their horns when in port at noon local time on International Workers' Day, May 1.

The sounding will be to recognise the 1.6m seafarers across the world who are keeping countries supplied amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic.

‘Our seafarers are the unsung heroes of global trade and we must not forget the contribution that they are making every day to keep our countries supplied with the goods that we need,' ICS Secretary General Guy Platten said. 'The sounding of a ship’s horn in ports on the day that the world recognises the contribution of workers is an ideal way to remind us all of their sacrifice.’