“#Cruise ship finally returns home after six-month coronavirus odyssey”
June 8, 2020 | 2:24pm
All remaining eight passengers aboard the MV Artania were due to disembark from the vessel, which set sail on a 140-day world cruise from Hamburg on Dec. 21, according to CNN Travel.
In March, 36 passengers tested positive for the bug after being tested by health officials when the ship arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Those infected were quarantined in local hospitals, cruise operator Phoenix Reisen told the news outlet.
Three people who were on the ship have since died — two male passengers, aged 69 and 71, and a 42-year-old male crew member, according to the report.
The ship’s healthy passengers remained quarantined aboard until their repatriation flights at the end of March.
Hundreds of passengers flew back to Frankfurt, while a handful stayed in a hospital in Australia to recover.
The last eight passengers opted to travel back home on the ship rather than by air — becoming the last cruise ship passengers to remain at sea as the pandemic spread across the globe.
On April 18, the Artania departed Australia on a voyage back to Europe that should’ve taken a few weeks, but it was extended by stops in Southeast Asia to repatriate many of the remaining crew members.
About 75 crew members remained on board until Bremerhaven to help operated the ship, whose Norwegian-born Capt. Morten Hansen — the star of the German reality TV show “Crazy for the Sea” — kept passengers and loved ones in the loop on his Facebook page.
Hansen marked Mother’s Day by taking a small detour from his planned route so he could map out the shape of a heart.
And right before the Artania set sail from Perth, two crew members decided to tie the knot and were married in a ceremony officiated by Gabriele Maluga, the German honorary consul, CNN Travel reported.
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