Cruise

WA premier backflips on Vasco da Gama’s Fremantle disembarkation

Western Australia has reversed its approval for Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) ship Vasco da Gama to disembark passengers in Freemantle amid COVID-19 fears.

The ship left Fremantle on 12 February to undertake the line’s Grand Northbound Voyage to Britain with the captain deciding to cancel the remainder of the cruise on 13 March, while the ship was anchored in Phuket.

The ship picked up Australian and New Zealand nationals who were on board CMV’s Columbus to take them home on 18 March and was scheduled to disembark in Fremantle on Friday.

CMV’s managing director for Australia Dean Brazier confirmed yesterday the Premier of Western Australia had told the public he had reversed prior approval for Vasco da Gama to disembark passengers before informing CMV.

Because of this, passengers on board the ship found out they would not be disembarking via the media before the cruise line could tell them.

Instead, passengers with Australian residency will be transported to Rottnest Island to spend 14 days in self-isolation before being allowed to continue their journey home.

“As CMV were not informed of this decision in advance, we are only now beginning to notify passengers and their travel agents,” Brazier said.

“We have followed all protocols to ensure a smooth arrival of Vasco da Gama into Fremantle, and have recorded no health issues with our guests who are on board.

“When they arrive, our guests will have been at sea for 13 days straight without disembarking the ship or being in contact with anyone who was not a guest or crew member of CMV, and we are disappointed that they will now have to wait a further 14 days until they can return home.”

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