Cruise ships still scrambling for safe harbor

The Zaandam cruise ship enters the Panama City Bay to be assisted by the Rotterdam cruise ship with supplies, personnel and COVID-19 testing devices, at 8 milles from Panama City, on March 27, 2020. – Panama allowed medical assistance at sea for the Zaandam cruise ship with dozens of people with flu symptoms on board amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, but denied the Dutch-flagged cruiser Zaandam transit through the Panama Canal, announced the administrator of the maritime route, Ricaurte Vásquez, who also said that the ship will be quarantined if any case of the new coronavirus is confirmed on board. (Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images via CNN)

More than a dozen cruise ships remain stranded at sea right now — some with and some without passengers — as ports deny entry and passengers panic about returning home.

On March 13, in light of mounting fears over onboard COVID-19 outbreaks, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) made the decision to suspend operations from US ports of call for 30 days.

Two weeks later, thousands of passengers and crew members remain aboard at least 20 ships across the world.

Industry group CLIA encompasses 38 cruise companies, with a total of 277 ships.

The organization confirmed to CNN on Friday that about 5.4% of the total fleet are currently at sea completing journeys.

Major cruise lines P&O, Cunard, Carnival and Royal Caribbean have extended their ban on cruising until mid-May.

Here are details on the cruise ships still in limbo that we know about.

Cruise ships with passengers

Zaandam — Holland America
Status: Sailing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Zaandam was sailing a South American voyage that departed Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7 and was originally supposed to conclude in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21.

Influenza-like symptoms have been reported by 73 guests and 116 crew members.

Four guests onboard Zaandam have passed away, the cruise line confirmed on Friday.

Holland America did not immediately provide the cause of death.

Separately, the cruise line said that two individuals on board experiencing respiratory symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19.

No one has got off the ship since it stopped in Punta Arenas, Chile, on March 14. Guests were originally told they could disembark in Chile for flights, but ultimately this was forbidden.

Once flu-like symptoms cropped up on board, those with symptoms were isolated and their traveling companions quarantined. All guests were asked to remain in their staterooms.

The ship stopped in Valparaiso, Chile, to refuel, and now it’s heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. All the ports en route are closed to cruise ships, so Holland America has deployed another of its ships, Rotterdam, to offer relief.

Rotterdam met Zaandam off Panama in the evening of March 26 to “provide extra supplies, staff, COVID-19 test kits and other support as needed.”

Previously, the ship had no coronavirus test kits on board.

Holland America transferred healthy Zaandam guests to Rotterdam.

There are 797 guests and 645 crew on Rotterdam. On Zaandam, there are 446 guests and 602 crew members.

The guests who moved from Zaandam to Rotterdam completed a health screening beforehand, says Holland America.

Guests on both ships are remaining in their staterooms until the ship disembarks.

On March 29, Holland America confirmed it was granted special approval by the Panama Canal Authority to transit Zaandam and Rotterdam through the Panama Canal.

Zaandam is considering “alternative options” if the plan to disembark in Fort Lauderdale falls through, but the hope is the ship will dock there on March 30.

Arcadia — P&O Cruises UK
Status: Sailing to Southampton, England

Cruise ship Arcadia embarked on a 100-day, round trip World Cruise back in January, in a very different cruising landscape.

Now, the ship is making its way back to Southampton, in the UK. It’s due to arrive on April 12, on schedule.

The ship is skipping all stops after it was turned away from Cape Town.

“As South African authorities are enforcing additional entry and travel restrictions because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, all guests are remaining on board until Southampton, where Arcadia is due to arrive on Sunday 12 April as per the original itinerary,” said P&O Cruises in a statement.

There are no reported cases of COVID-19 on board.

Coral Princess — Princess Cruises
Status: Sailing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Coral Princess departed Santiago, Chile, on March 5. Princess Cruises announced operations were halting one week later.

Princess Cruises tried to negotiate disembarkation in Brazil for guests onboard the Coral Princess. Anvisa, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, denied the disembarkation of Coral Princess guests, including those with confirmed outbound flights.

The ship is now traveling directly to Fort Lauderdale. There are no known cases of COVID-19 on board.

Sara Roberts is one of 374 British passengers on board.

“We are all virus-free and want the British government to send a safe repatriation flight to enable us to travel safely home together,” she tells CNN Travel. “Ideally we would like this to happen en route in Barbados.”

“The uncertainty is causing so much stress for some which is not healthy either for them,” Roberts adds.

Roberts, who has two daughters who are doctors, posted a video of the stranded passengers participating in #ClapfortheNHS, a moment of appreciation for frontline medical workers in the UK.

Princess Cruises said internet and guest stateroom telephone service is currently complimentary, to help guests stay in touch with family members.

On March 27, Princess Cruises confirmed that Coral Princess is due to arrive in Bridgetown, Barbados, on March 31.

“During the short time at the port, extra provisions will be brought on board to keep all guests comfortable during the onward journey,” said Princess Cruises in a statement.

“No guests or crew will be permitted to disembark during this time.”

The ship is expected to arrive into Fort Lauderdale on April 4.

Pacific Princess — Princess Cruises
Status: Sailing to Los Angeles, California

The Pacific Princess docked in Australia on March 21, with the majority of passengers who disembarked on flights March 22 or March 23.

Those who couldn’t fly due to medical reasons remained on board the ship, which is now traveling towards Los Angeles.

According to former passenger CJ Hayden, some of those on board were previously traveling on Holland America’s Amsterdam, which also docked in Fremantle, Australia, on March 21.

Princess Cruises says there are 115 passengers on board and no known cases of COVID-19.

The Pacific Princess is due to arrive in Los Angeles on April 24. It stopped briefly in Melbourne, Australia, to “refuel and replenish provisions,” according to Princess Cruises.

The ship is also expected to dock in Honolulu, Hawaii, for an additional service stop.

Queen Victoria — Cunard
Status: Sailing to Southampton, England

The Queen Victoria departed on an 82-day round trip South America Discovery voyage from Hamburg on Jan. 8, 2020.

The ship is now on its way back to Southampton, set to arrive this weekend. All guests will be disembarked.

No one is believed to be unwell.

Queen Mary 2 — Cunard
Status: Sailing to Southampton, England

The Queen Mary 2 set off on a 113-day New York to New York voyage on Jan. 3.

“Queen Mary 2’s World Voyage was canceled and the ship is currently en route to Southampton from Australia,” says a Cunard spokesperson.

Most guests disembarked in Perth and flew back home from there.

“The only guests who remain on board are those who are unable to fly due to medical reasons,” said Cunard in a statement.

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on board.

MSC Magnifica — MSC Cruises
Status: Sailing to Europe

MSC Magnifica disembarked on a world voyage on Jan. 4.

The ship’s passengers were not allowed to disembark when the ship docked in Fremantle, Australia, on March 24.

The Magnifica says there are no sick passengers on board.

An MSC spokesperson told CNN Travel: “MSC Magnifica, currently sailing a world cruise, is en route from Australia to Europe.”

Celebrity Eclipse — Celebrity Cruises
Status: Berthed in San Diego, California

Celebrity Eclipse embarked on March 1 from Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The ship was later refused permission to disembark in Chile. The ship has now arrived in San Diego, California, according to British passenger Deborah Filgate.

Last week, Filgate told CNN Travel everyone on board was “fine and in good spirits,” although keen for updates on repatriation.

“My husband needs cardiac surgery and is short of meds, plus we have a son at home on his own away from university,” she says. “We know things at home are grim, but things out here are also stressful and we still don’t know when we will get home.”

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on board.

Azamara Pursuit — Azamara
Status: Berthed in Miami, Florida

The Azamara Pursuit set sail from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 2. As coronavirus fears ramped up and ports closed, the ship was refused entry in Chile.

There are not believed to be any cases of the virus on board.

The ship arrived in Miami on March 29.

Costa Victoria — Costa Cruises
Status: Berthed in Civitavecchia, Italy

The Costa Victoria cruise ship arrived in Civitavecchia, in Italy, on March 25.

Earlier in the voyage, a passenger tested positive for coronavirus and was disembarked in Greece.

The disembarkation process in Italy is ongoing.

Columbus — Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Status: Sailing to Tilbury, England

Last week, two Cruise & Maritime Voyages ships, Columbus and Vasco da Gama, met at sea 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, Thailand, to undertake what the cruise line called “a unique passenger transfer and repatriation operation.”

This decision was made to help get passengers on both vessels home as quickly as possible.

Some 239 passengers were transferred between the ships. British nationals transferred onto the Columbus, which is heading to the UK, while Australians and New Zealanders are now on board the Vasco da Gama.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on either ship.

The Columbus is set to arrive in Tilbury on April 13.

Vasco da Gama — Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Status: In Western Australia

The Vasco da Gama cruise ship docked in Fremantle, Australia, on March 28.

There were 798 Australians and 108 New Zealanders on board the vessel.

The New Zealand guests disembarked the ship and flew home from Perth on March 29.

On March 30, all Vasco da Gama passengers from Western Australia traveled to nearby Rottnest Island, where they will spend 14 days in self-isolation, before they are able to travel home.

“Australian citizens from other states will be asked to spend their 14-day quarantine at hotels in Perth which have been specifically set aside for this purpose,” said Cruise & Maritime Voyages, in a statement.

There are no suspected cases of COVID-19 on board.

Vasco da Gama is set to disembark Fremantle on the evening of March 30, and head back to the UK, with only crew members on board.

Artania — Phoenix
Status: In Western Australia

The Artania cruise ship embarked on a 140-day world cruise from Hamburg, Germany, to Bremerhaven, Germany, on Dec. 21.

The ship has now docked in Western Australia.

One passenger, who has since disembarked, tested positive for coronavirus.

A further seven passengers tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25, following a check from Australian health officials.

In a statement, cruise line Phoenix Reisen said these seven passengers were subsequently disembarked and quarantined in local hospitals.

The remaining passengers are staying onboard the ship until their repatriation flights, which are due to take place on March 29.

The majority of passengers are German. Those from elsewhere in Europe will also be able to travel back to Frankfurt, as long as their onward journey is guaranteed.

Cruise ships without passengers

Costa Magica — Costa Cruises
The Costa Magica is docked near Miami.

This week, six crew members with respiratory symptoms were evacuated from the ship, and then transported to a hospital onshore by Miami-Dade Fire, according to a tweet from Miami-Dade County Emergency Management.

The vessel does not have permission to enter the Port of Miami.

The ship previously docked in Guadeloupe and all passengers disembarked to get on flights.

Costa Favolosa — Costa Cruises
Also docked near Miami is another Costa cruise ship, Favolosa.

Seven ill crew members were evacuated from this ship along with the sick passengers who had been onboard Costa Magica.

Like Costa Magica, the ship previously docked in Guadeloupe, and passengers disembarked there.

Azura — P&O Cruises UK
Azura is sailing back to Southampton with no guests on board. It is due to dock on March 31.

Hanseatic Nature — Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
The Hanseatic Nature is traveling from Central America to Hamburg, Germany, scheduled to arrive April 15.

This voyage is taking place to get the ship to its hold position.

All Hapag-Lloyd Cruises guests have disembarked.

According to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises press team, crew members on board this ship have challenged themselves to walk and jog the track around the ship to keep busy and exercise during the crossing.

“They are hoping the entire crew of 138 do 28 laps a day, for the 27-day trip, if every crew member does the 28 laps a day it will equal the distance they are crossing, 7700 nautical miles = 8861.01 miles,” says a Hapag-Lloyd Cruises spokesperson.

Europa — Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
This ship is on course to Barbados, scheduled to arrive April 3. This voyage is also taking place to get the ship to its appropriate hold position.

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