Cruise ships with “nowhere to go”
Just had a note from our regular nautical expert Jaimie, who notes that it’s a long time since a cruise ship docked in Funchal and guesses that it could well be a lot longer before they return. With all the attention having been on the crisis facing airlines he had a look at what’s happening in the cruise shipping world.
All the blue icons in the picture below from the marine traffic AIS website are cruise ships all, as the Carnival Sunrise succinctly puts it below, with “nowhere to go“. Whilst aircraft remain grounded on the tarmac of various airports around the globe and their cabin crews sit at home with their families facing fears of job losses – cruise ship crews are left stranded, unable to dock and even if they were allowed into port, with countries borders closed and no flights, ships crews would be unable to be repatriated to join their families.
Some of Funchal’s regulars – Mein Schiff and the various AIDA’s are “holed up” similarly down off the Canaries where the authorities have given them refuge and support. TUI’s Marella vessels are anchored off the Solent or drifting in the Mediterranean.
The Guadian recently reported that while most cruise ship passengers eventually made it back to land, another crisis has been growing since – with no safe haven in sight. The Guardian investigation has foundthat, around the world, more than 100,000 crew workers were still trapped on cruise ships, at least 50 of which have COVID-19 infections. They describe how they are shut out of ports and banned from air travel that would allow them to return to their homes. Many are quarantined in tiny cabins, and some have had their pay cut off. They have in effect become a nation of floating castaways, marooned on boats from the Galapagos Islands to Dubai port. Full report here.