According to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in a statement, this week, far from offering the usual jolly rides across the oceans to thousands of leisure and entertainment seeking passengers, the cruiseliners calling at the country’s ports are returning home crew members.
SAMSA, in its statement, reported no less than eight such cruise liners calling on the country’s ports all to disembark dozens of their South African crew members, as they do to their crew members of other countries across the world.
Among these vessels were the Crown Princess and Island Princess, which, according to SAMSA, called at the port of Cape Town on 16th May 2020 with close on 4 000 crew members on board between them, and about 100 of which were South Africans.
“The Crown Princess arrived in South Africa with 2 139 crew members, of which 30 are South African. The Crown Princess is used by the owners to repatriate crews stranded aboard their vessels and is due to proceed to other international ports to disembark other crew members.
“The vessel disembarked SA crew and SA medical team while in Cape Town, who have been on-board the ship for some time and required to be relieved by a fresh crew.
All South African Crew has disembarked, and special permission was granted for a new medical team to embark on allowing for the vessel to meet safe manning requirements before it can proceed to another port. The disembarked crew was subjected to the local Covid-19 regulations and will quarantine for 14 days before they can proceed to join their families. The vessel also took bunkers and supplies, before it sailed on 16th May 2020.
“The Island Princess also arrived in Cape Town on the 16th May 2020 with 1 416 crew, of which 62 are South African. The vessel will disembark the South African crew before leaving Cape Town,” reported SAMSA.
Other vessels reporting at the country’s ports during this period were confirmed as follows:
The organisation said: “SAMSA continues to work with the Department of Transport, other government departments and government agencies to ensure that all regulations relating Covid-19 are enforced and followed by the maritime industry.
“These regulations, among others, prohibit cruise liner calls into any of the South African Ports, any crew changes, any disembarkations apart from returning South African citizens or permanent residents.”