Coronavirus-Hit Cruise Ship Still Stranded off Bahamas
A cruise ship operated by British Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines with more than 600 passengers onboard is still searching for a port where it could dock after being turned away by a number of Caribbean ports over coronavirus fears.
Last week, five people onboard the 196-meter-long vessel tested positive for COVID-19 at the ship’s last port of call, Willemstad, Curaçao.
On March 12, the cruise line decided to change course and head to the Bahamas, the ship’s flag state, hoping it would be able to disembark there. It arrived there on March 14 and was given safe haven to anchor approximately 25 miles southwest of Freeport.
However, the Bahamas government did not give permission to Braemar to dock in the port and disembark passengers and crew. It only confirmed it would provide humanitarian assistance.
As of today, a total of 20 passengers and 20 crew members remain in isolation on the vessel, having shown influenza-like symptoms, including a doctor.
Confirming the clearance for delivery of supplies and medication, the cruise line said:
“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that Braemar, currently at anchor in The Bahamas, has taken on supply of food, medication and ship supplies, after a delivery via cargo ship from Freeport overnight.”
“At the same time, two doctors and two nurses joined the ship to assist Braemar’s on board medical team.”
Braemar Update: For the safety of our guests and crew, we are currently isolating anyone presenting flu-like symptoms on Braemar. Our medical team on board has recently been increased with an additional two doctors and two nurses who embarked last night.
— Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (@FredOlsenCruise) March 16, 2020
“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continue to have high-level discussions to get all guests home as quickly as possible,” Fred. Olsen added.
On March 13, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines informed it would voluntarily pause its cruise operations until May 23.