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May 7 updates: TUI Cruises to repatriate crew from Germany, CMV/AmaWaterways extend suspensions, ALMACO-ACT.Global partnership

PHOTO: TUI Cruises CRUISE Mein Schiff 3.jpg
TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 3 is currently berthed at Cuxhaven, housing 2,900 crew from different vessels of the fleet
In addition to feature story coverage, here's a quick read of some of today’s coronavirus-related cruise news and announcements.

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

TUI Cruises to start crew repatriations from Germany

Work is under way to repatriate, as a first step, about 1,200 of the 2,900 crew members on board Mein Schiff 3, who were collected from other TUI Cruises vessels. The ship has been docked at Cuxhaven, Germany, since April 28.

Following a first crew member testing positive for COVID-19 on April 30, nine others tested positive. All have only minor symptoms or are asymptomatic and are in isolation. The first crew member was evacuated to a local hospital and has recovered.

Repatriation flights for approximately 1,200 crew — only those who've tested negative — are to start Friday with  two charter flights to Kiev (for 168 people) and Jakarta (for 369 people). Transportation to Denpasar (for another 369 people) is planned for May 11. This Saturday a charter flight will leave for Turkey, Tunisia and Mauritius. On Saturday and Sunday Chinese crew are going home on regularly scheduled flights.

Compared to other countries, Germany has not been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown measures are now eased throughout the country, and tourism is going to restart during May. For example, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein plans to open hotel and holiday apartments, restaurants and cafes starting May 18, all under strict regulations for distancing and hygiene.

ALMACO to distribute ACT.Global's Premium Purity

ALMACO partnered with ACT.Global to distribute Premium Purity, an air purifier and self-disinfecting system, to the maritime and offshore industries.

Transparent, odourless and activated by light, the system has already been trialed by Lindblad Expeditions, which recorded a 50% decline in guest-reported illness, more than 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products eliminated and water usage reduced by 1.1m gallons per year.

‘Together we can support our customers and the whole industry by taking health, cleaning and sanitation to a completely new level, which in turn can bring back the public’s confidence in the industry,' said Herve Touzard, vice president of service division at ALMACO.

ALMACO will provide lifecycle support for Premium Purity, including spare parts, equipment deliveries and maintenance. ALMACO CEO Björn Stenwall believes the solution could be a ‘game-changer for the maritime industry’.

CMV delay through June, 80% rebook rate

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has further extended the suspension of its worldwide cruises from May 25 to June 30.

CEO Christian Verhounig reported 80% of passengers affected by the cruise cancellations have rebooked onto future 2020 and 2021 cruises. ‘This is a great sign and we know that passengers are looking forward to travelling with us in the near future,' he said.

CMV continues to employ shipboard officers and crew throughout this suspension period.

AmaWaterways suspends through July

AmaWaterways extended its suspension of cruises through July.

'While current events have made this temporary suspension necessary, the rivers continue to flow, and we remain in a secure position to resume cruising once we are confident that it is safe to travel again,' AmaWaterways President and Co-founder Rudi Schreiner said.

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