Another cruise ship cancels

AIDAnova crew have Coronavirus

AIDAnova cruise ship cancels visit to Funchal

Thanks to resident nautical expert Jaime, who is keeping an eye on marine traffic around Madeira, it looks like another cruise ship has pulled out of a planned visit to Madeira tonight to witness the New Year’s Eve firework display. There will now only be 11 cruise ships present instead of the (joint) record 13 that were originally planned. Unfortunately, the occasion coincides with the announcement that another 1157 cases have been recorded in the Region today.

It now appears that the AIDAnova’s trip to Madeira (one of many – it is one of the most frequent visitors to Funchal) has been cancelled because crew members have been discovered to be infected with Coronavirus and cannot be replaced promptly. The ship will therefore stay in Lisbon over New Year’s Eve as a result.

According to the Globista website, the AIDAnova cruise ship is currently on a journey from Hamburg along the Western European coast to the Canary Islands. The ship left the Hanseatic city two days before Christmas Eve and arrived in Lisbon (Portugal) on Wednesday (December 29th). For some of the passengers, the trip ended here as planned, other guests went on board for the upcoming New Year’s Eve trip. The planned highlight of this stage: the big New Year’s Eve fireworks from Funchal on Madeira. But now nothing will come of it.

AIDAnova captain Jens Janauschek informed the passengers by announcement that there were a few positive results from routine testing among crew members. He confirmed this to the passengers on Friday morning (a recording was posted on Facebook by ship tester Matthias Morr and “Ships and Cruises” blogger Pascal Wepner, among others). At this point in time, the cruise ship should have been heading for Madeira for 24 hours. The departure was scheduled for Thursday (December 30th) at 7:00 a.m.

In the meantime, AIDA Cruises has commented on the situation: “We have decided to extend AIDAnova’s stay in Lisbon over New Year’s Eve, as we are still waiting for important crew members to arrive.” Apparently, the infected people or their contacts are key positions that are important for ship operations. For the affected crew members, AIDA “organized accommodation on land provided for this case in close coordination with the responsible health authorities”. According to the shipping company, they will be looked after by a medical service provider there. “The affected people are fine, they have no or only mild symptoms.”

The departure of the AIDAnova cruise ship was initially postponed to Thursday evening. For the time being, there was apparently the hope of getting replacement crew on board on Thursday. The departure was initially postponed from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. With almost top speed (21 knots, almost 40 km / h), AIDAnova would have made it on time for the Madeira fireworks. The journey is almost 1000 kilometres long. But on Thursday evening, the guests on board were put off to Friday.

According to Jens Janauschek, efforts were initially made to cope with the problem differently: “We have tried everything up to this morning to find other solutions,” said the cruise ship captain in his announcement on Friday morning. But it is now clear: “Our call off the coast of Funchal planned for New Year’s Eve, so, unfortunately, it cannot take place in this context.”

COVID-19 in Madeira: previous daily updates can be found in an earlier post

Travel latest: requirements for entering and leaving Madeira: is kept up-to-date on a previous post

New restrictions: a detailed updated explanation of the latest regulations can be found here

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