New Zealand on Friday welcomed the first cruise ship to return since the coronavirus pandemic began, signaling a long-sought return to normalcy for the nation’s tourism industry. New Zealand closed its borders in early 2020 as it sought at first to eliminate COVID-19 entirely and then later to control its spread. Although the country reopened its borders to most tourists arriving by plane in May, it wasn’t until two weeks ago that it lifted all remaining restrictions, including those on maritime arrivals. Many in the cruise industry question why it took so long. Read: New Zealand's unemployment rate remains low at 3.3 pc The end of restrictions allowed Carnival Australia’s Pacific Explorer cruise ship to dock in Auckland with about 2,000 passengers and crew Friday morning as part of a 12-day return trip to Fiji that left from Sydney. “Amazing, isn’t it?” Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Its another step in the reopening of our borders and a step closer to resuming business as usual.” Nash said it would take some time for international tourist numbers and revenue to return to their pre-pandemic levels, when the industry accounted for about 20% of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5% of GDP.
The Mercantile Marine Office of the Department of Shipping formed a three-member committee to investigate the fire incident in Saint Martin-bound luxury cruise ship MV Bay-1 on Friday midnight. Giashuddin Ahmed, principal officer of the Mercantile Marine Office, told UNB on Saturday. The committee was formed with Captain Sheikh Md Jalal Uddin Gazi, Nautical Surveyor, as its head, he said adding the committee has been asked to submit a report within the next three days. The other two members of the committee are Rafiqul Alam, engineer and ship surveyor and Mohammad Hossain, field unit coordinator of the Department of Shipping. Read: Cruise ship stuck in mid sea 'safely returned' The committee head said the report will be submitted after completing the survey and will make recommendations after identifying the reason of the accident. Earlier on Friday, nearly two hours after the ship leaving the Patenga terminal in Chattogram carrying around 800 passengers to the island was forced to anchor mid sea as the crews noticed thick smoke in the engine room. The crew of the ship managed to shut the engine and control the fire within half an hour and fortunately none of the passengers were harmed. Later , a tugboat named Kandari-10 managed to drag the ship with passengers to shore from 17 nautical miles away from Patenga.
The cruise ship that was stuck in the middle of the sea returned to Patenga successfully at noon on Friday, according to the port authority. The tugboat Kandari-10 reached the spot on Friday morning, 17 nautical miles from Patenga, and dragged the MV Bay-1 ship along with its passengers to shore. Read: Trawler capsizes in Meghna: 2 bodies recovered,1 missing Earlier, panic gripped some 800 passengers of a Saint Martin Island-bound luxury cruise ship on Friday midnight after thick smoke-filled areas of the vessel, prompting its operator to anchor mid-sea. "The thick smoke from the engine room soon engulfed areas of the ship, triggering chaos on board. However, the ship's crew extinguished the fire in a short time," stranded passenger Md Arman Hossain told UNB. Read: Smoke on board cruise ship sparks panic mid-sea Engineer Moin Uddin, an official of Karnafuli ShipBuilders and operating in charge of Bay-1, said, "One of the two engines of the ship became useless. The ship could run with an engine but it didn’t take a risk and returned without going to St. Martin," he added.
Panic gripped some 800 passengers of a Saint Martin Island-bound luxury cruise ship on Friday midnight after thick smoke filled areas of the vessel, prompting its operator to anchor mid-sea. The decision to halt MV Bay-1 was, in fact, taken after its crew noticed smoke in the engine room -- possibly due to a flash fire -- around 12am, nearly two hours of the ship leaving the Patenga terminal in Chattogram for the island, a popular holiday destination. "The thick smoke from the engine room soon engulfed areas of the ship, triggering chaos on board. The operator was quick to switch off the engine," one of the stranded passengers told UNB over the phone. Also read: You can now travel to Saint Martin's "The ship remains anchored mid-sea off the coast of Kutubdia upazila. I heard a rescue ship is on its way," said Aminul Haque Babu, a human rights activist travelling on the ship. However, Sea Cruise Operator Owners’ Association of Bangladesh attributed the incident to excess engine oil leak. "The ship operator made the right decision to halt it," said Hossain Islam Bahadur, general secretary of the Association. Also read:Teknaf to Saint Martin tourist ship service to run trial on November 16 "Former railways minister Mujibul Haque Mujib is on the ship," he added. Despite repeated attempts, the ship management could not be contacted.
A cruise ship that carried at least 17 passengers and crew members with breakthrough COVID-19 infections when it docked in New Orleans has set sail again with new passengers. Nine crew members and eight passengers were infected when the Norwegian Breakaway arrived on Sunday, a Louisiana Department of Health spokeswoman said Monday. None had any symptoms and only fully vaccinated people are allowed on board, Norwegian Cruise Line said. The cruise line said all passengers who boarded the Norwegian Breakaway on Sunday were offered a chance to cancel without penalty. The company did not immediately respond to questions about whether any did cancel or how many passengers the ship now carries. Also read: Study suggests past COVID infection may not fend off omicron "Guests who opt to sail must wear masks while indoors except while actively eating or drinking and will be tested twice during the cruise," the statement said. The Breakaway can carry up to 3,963 passengers. Its Caribbean route from New Orleans includes Cozumel and Costa Maya in Mexico; Roatán, in the Bay Islands of Honduras; and Harvest Caye, Belize. An earlier statement from Norwegian Cruise Line said that any passengers who tested positive would either drive themselves home or "self-isolate in accommodations provided by the company.” Some people who left the ship on Sunday told WVUE-TV that they had been told that people on board had tested positive for COVID-19, but others said they hadn't. Don Canole of North Carolina said he got first word from overhearing the station's interview with someone nearby. "It would have been nice to have known. We would have taken maybe a few more precautions," he said. Passengers said they were tested for COVID-19 exposure on Saturday. The cruise line also gave passengers take-home rapid tests as they left the ship, according to WVUE. Also read: US panel backs first-of-a-kind COVID-19 pill from Merck Cruise ships were an early source of outbreaks at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year, and some ships were rejected at ports and passengers were forced into quarantine. The CDC issued a no-sail order in March 2020, prompting a standstill that ended last June as cruise ships began to leave U.S. ports with new health and safety requirements.
As the U.S. death toll from the new coronavirus reached at least 21, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the mayor of Oakland sought Sunday to reassure the public that none of the passengers from a ship carrying people with the virus will be released into the public before undergoing a 14-day quarantine.
Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship with 3,500 people aboard to stay back from the California coast Thursday until passengers and crew can be tested, after a traveler from its previous voyage died of the disease and at least four others became infected.
The feel-good story of how Cambodia allowed a cruise ship to dock after it was turned away elsewhere in Asia for fear of spreading a new disease took an unfortunate turn after a passenger later tested positive for the virus.
A cruise ship turned away by four Asian and Pacific governments due to virus fears anchored Thursday off Cambodia for health checks on its 2,200 passengers and crew.