Cruise ship in port to repatriate crew | THE DAILY HERALD

Cruise ship “Carnival Pride” in port on Saturday, while some of her crew walked down the wharf to board buses to PJIA.The buses that took the repatriating crew of “Carnival Pride” to the airport.

PHILIPSBURG–Cruise ship Carnival Pride was in port on Saturday to repatriate some of her crew to their home countries via Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).The cruise ship arrived at Port St. Maarten on Saturday morning. Some of her crew were then bused to PJIA to be flown home. Some of the repatriating crew members boarded a commercial Air France flight to Paris, France. The others took a chartered TUI flight, first to Guadeloupe, then onwards to London, United Kingdom (UK).

Both flights departed St. Maarten on Saturday afternoon.Carnival Pride departed Port St. Maarten around 5:00pm Saturday en route to Curaçao.“Countries around the world have been asked by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to facilitate the safe and efficient operation of the maritime transportation system, which moves over 80 per cent of global trade.“Critical to this is the ability of shipping and cruise companies to continue conducting crew changes throughout the world while complying with restrictions and following the national guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. …“Port St. Maarten is playing a key role in this repatriation process under humanitarian grounds, and for the overall welfare of the crew. The global shipping industry estimates that, since March 2020, only about 25 per cent of normal crew changes have taken place,” said Port St. Maarten in a press release on Friday.

According to the port, the cruise line chose St. Maarten to facilitate the crew change due to its strategic location in the Northeastern Caribbean and its air connections with Europe.“Also, plus points for the destination is the country’s infrastructure that caters to homeporting services, therefore making the island an ideal location for international crew changes … [as well as the port’s – Ed.] fuel bunkering and food provisioning services for the cruise industry,” said Port St. Maarten.

The port also said cruise ships calling at St. Maarten for crew repatriation or bunkering must adhere to stringent public health measures. Port St. Maarten has had a “Sterile Port Protocol” in place since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.“The ‘Sterile Port Protocol’ falls under the scope of the National Ordinance Public Health, which is part of international health regulations as issued by the World Health Organization (WHO),” said Port St. Maarten.

Source: The Daily Herald