Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has been working around the clock to ensure the safety of its passengers, following cases of coronavirus on board its ship Braemar.
The cruise ship was sailing a Western Caribbean itinerary, until two passengers tested positive for covid-19 in Willemstad, Curacao, on Tuesday (17 March).
Following the diagnosis, 28 passengers displaying influenza-like symptoms were isolated, including the two positive cases.
Having cut its sailing short, the ship sailed back to Cuba, where passengers will be flown back to the UK today.
Braemar update: we can confirm that all four planes have landed in Cuba and Braemar is now alongside in the Port of Mariel.
— Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines (@FredOlsenCruise) March 18, 2020
The repatriation will take place aboard three chartered British Airways flights, which will land at Heathrow.
“All guests on this flight will have medical professionals available and will have support with any onward travel arrangements or requirements,” said a spokesperson for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.
“We are making arrangements for guests flying back to London Heathrow, including access to coach transfers to either London Gatwick or Manchester airports, where their outbound flights for this cruise departed from.
“Guests booked via a tour operator should wait to receive more information from them.
“All guests on the British Airways flights into London Heathrow will not be required to self-isolate.
“We would encourage all guests to monitor the latest updates from Public Health England on their return home.”
Passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus, or have symptoms, will be flown on a separate flight.
Those who do not feel well enough to fly will be given medical support in Cuba, says the cruise line.
Following the outbreak of coronavirus, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines made the tough decision to temporarily suspend all sailings, re-starting its services in May 2020.
Despite most major cruise lines suspending operations, a handful of ships were still sailing when the suspension was enforced, including Braemar, NCL’s Norwegian Jewel and Silversea’s Silver Shadow.
For an up-to-date list of all cruise lines who’ve suspended sailings, and what to do if your cruise is affected, read our guide to re-booking and cancelling your cruise.
For the latest advice on coronavirus, visit gov.uk.
The cruise industry is facing an unprecedented and ever-changing situation and we are committed to keeping you informed with the most up-to-date news as we receive it from the sector. However, we firmly believe that the cruise industry will bounce back. When it does, we’ll be on hand to inspire with destination inspiration and exciting cruise itineraries for the years to come.