It seems like it was ages ago that people were still actually taking cruises, but there were still three ships stuck at sea, and they finally returned to port on Monday. One of the ships, the MSC Magnifica, set out from Genoa, Italy, on January 5, with a 116-night itinerary that included 43 stops around the world. Nearly three months later, the ship hadn’t touched land in over six weeks, as ports around the world began closing when the coronavirus took hold.
When the ship reached Sydney, Australia, the captain informed passengers that the cruise was over, and that they would be returning to Europe. Some disembarked at Sydney and found their own way home, but nearly 2,000 remained on board.
Captain Leotta told the BBC, “We found ourselves [globally] in a situation where COVID-19 has been isolating people and distancing people. We became like a family — our guests and our crew together. The spirit has been beautiful.”
The Costa Deliziosa, a 15-week cruise that departed from Venice in January, was similarly stranded at sea as ports closed. As there were no cases on board, however, being on the ship wasn’t all bad. On Monday, it finally docked in Barcelona, Spain.
The Pacific Princesa also returned to port on Monday, after leaving Fort Lauderdale on January 5 for a 111-day world cruise. It docked in Los Angeles, California, with 115 passengers, dropping off four in Hawaii to quarantine for two weeks.
Now that these ships are home safe, the world’s oceans are completely without cruises for the foreseeable future. Until the global community can get the virus under control, that’s probably for the best.