Published on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Carnival prepares to sail home 10,000 crew

Eighteen Carnival Cruise Line ships will rendezvous in The Bahamas over the next few days as the final plans are put in place to sail home 10,000 crew members who remain onboard due to restrictions limiting air travel to Asia, Africa, Europe, India and Latin America.

The ships have been calling at various US homeports picking up supplies and fuel for the journeys, which will be undertaken by half of the fleet.

The remaining nine ships will spend most of their time anchored in the Bahamas or Panama.

"The safety and wellbeing of our team members continues to be a top priority. Given the pause in our operations, we are committed to getting our crew members safely home to their families," said Carnival president Christine Duffy.

"We sincerely thank them for their hard work, patience and understanding during this process.  We would also like to thank the government of The Bahamas for their support of this operation, as well as the CDC, US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection and local port agencies."

Crew members who will be returning home have undergone a health check and cleared fit for travel by Carnival's medical team. 

The company has been working closely with immigration officials in arriving countries on an efficient debarkation process.  All crew members have their temperature taken daily and will do so again during the debarkation process, and follow enhanced operational protocols to ensure the health and safety of the crew, it said.

Prior to Carnival's pause in operations on March 13, its fleet of 27 ships had nearly 29,000 crew members on board.  Since then, Carnival has repatriated more than 10,000 crew via flights.

Approximately 6,000 additional crew will be repatriated by air charters or three ships that have already departed from Australia and Long Beach.  

By the time all these movements are completed, the Carnival fleet will be down to approximately 3,000 crew members who will remain on ships for safe operational manning, plus several hundred that will be repatriated as quickly as possible.


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