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Costa Luminosa.jpg
Following a screening by health officials in Marseille after arriving trans-Atlantic, Costa Luminosa disembarked a number of passengers there and will now head to Italy

March 19 updates: Zaandam, Marseille takes ships, Braemar cruisers are home, Fiji, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence outlook

In addition to feature story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s other coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

Zandaam final destination unknown

Holland America Line's Zaandam is going to make a service call at Valparaíso, Chile, on Friday, and then head north. The line is still working to finalize details about the best place for passengers to disembark and head home.

The ship was turned away from Punta Arenas earlier even though HAL said there are no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 among the 842 passengers and 542 crew.

Marseille steps up

Even as France is on partial lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Port of Marseille is taking cruise ships that are temporarily going out of service, so travelers can get home.

When Costa Luminosa arrived today from a trans-Atlantic crossing with some 1,400 passengers, the ship was cleared following screening by health authorities. Disembarking passengers include French residents and others, based on transport logistics. Costa Cruises organized transfers and flights and is working with authorities in Italy to disembark the remaining people in Savona. 

After that, Costa Pacifica, on a positioning itinerary from Buenos Aires to Europe, was cleared to disembark. The ship is to depart Friday with Genoa arrival planned Saturday.

According to Marseille Cruise Club, Costa Smeralda, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Europa 2 and AIDAsol all disembarked Sunday and are temporarily laid up in Marseille.

Braemar cruisers are back home

All 684 passengers from Fred. Olsen's Braemar are back in the UK, having arrived on four chartered flights from Havana, Cuba, today, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed. He once again thanked Cuba.

So did Peter Deer, managing director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, who acknowledged 'the Cuban authorities, the Port of Mariel and the Cuban people for their support. Other countries would not allow Braemar to dock once we had confirmed cases of coronavirus on board. Thanks to their kindness, we are now able to get people home. Your support will not be forgotten. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.'

Fiji and Blue Lagoon Cruises

On Thursday the Fiji government announced that anyone entering Fiji from overseas must self-quarantine for 14 days.

The port of Lautoka is under lockdown and Blue Lagoon Cruises, which released its 2020-21 programme last month, has suspended services.

Great Lakes outlook

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump announced the only movement across the US-Canada border will be for trade in 'goods,' it is presumed this means no tourism visits and thus no cruising, according to Stephen Burnett, executive director, Great Lakes Cruising Coalition & Cruise Ontario.

'Therefore, at this time, Great Lakes cruising is on hold,' Burnett said. However, he added the bulk of the season happens later in the summer and in the fall.

'We have reached out to every Great Lakes cruise line and also to some of their suppliers,' Burnett continued. 'All of them are studying the situation closely and in some cases their fleets have already been parked. All of them are looking ahead to when this will be over, but while we are social distancing and doing our part to delay the spread of COVID-19, our cruise season is looking bleak.'

Cruise the Saint Lawrence

'With each passing day, we more clearly appreciate the extent to which businesses across the tourism sector with direct or indirect involvement in the Saint Lawrence cruise industry operations are increasingly and significantly impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus,' said Tony Boemi, president, Cruise the Saint Lawrence.

'We empathize with and understand the situation in which these entrepreneurs and their employees find themselves,' he continued. 'That said, we remain confident that our governments will propose economic measures intended to support the socioeconomic fabric of our industry.'

Landry & Kling 'ambassadors of hope'

Landry & Kling Global Cruise Events is busy rebooking customers due to the global cruise moratorium and, 'Believe it or not, we're also booking new cruises right now for groups and charters,' President and CEO Joyce Landry said in a video message

She added that Landry & Kling decided to be 'ambassadors of hope. So we're here to cheer you up if you call us ... We're positive about the future.'

 

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