Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has successfully repatriated passengers from its cruise ship Braemar, which has been stuck in the Caribbean due to an outbreak of coronavirus.
Five people on board the ship tested positive for covid-19, meaning the ship was unable to disembark in Barbados as planned.
The cruise line then made plans for the ship to disembark in Havana, Cuba, where passengers were flown home on three chartered flights.
Returning all fit and healthy passengers, the first of the chartered flights arrived in London’s Heathrow airport this morning (19 March).
On arrival, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines went above and beyond to make its passengers as comfortable and happy as possible, treating them to care packages as they landed.
This included long-life milk, teabags, biscuits and fresh fruit, helping towards stock for their cupboards and providing refreshments for their onward journeys home.
Treats included products from British favourites such as Cavendish Ships Stores, Kettle Chips, McVitie’s, Metcalfe’s, Stokes and Twinings of London.
Costa Coffee at Heathrow Airport also provided additional water, crisps and biscuits for guests upon arrival.
Guests who were experiencing flu-like symptoms or who had been diagnosed with covid-19 were flown home on a separate fourth flight, chartered with the UK Foreign Office.
The fourth flight is due to touch down in MoD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, with guests on this flight also given a best of British care package.
“I would like to thank all of our guests for their patience as we worked around the clock to get them back to the UK. We know that at times this was a frustrating process, and it was not the way they, or we, had anticipated the end to their holiday,” said Fred Olsen Cruise Lines managing director, Peter Deer.
“As we have already seen in the Caribbean, the world, including the UK, has become a very different place over the past few weeks. I hope this small gesture of a care package goes some way to showing our thanks to them all in what has become a very challenging and unprecedented time.”
With guests from Braemar now safe and well, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will not be sailing again until 23 May 2020.
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 rebooking 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.