CMV Pulls Off Passenger Transfer Between Ships At Sea

CMV At Sea Passenger Transfer

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) saw two of its ships, the Columbus and Vasco da Gama, meet some 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, Thailand to undertake a unique passenger transfer and repatriation operation involving 239 passengers.

Despite representations and last-ditch mercy pleas to the Thai Authorities, the Port of Phuket remained closed to cruise ships along with all other ports in Southeast Asia and the wider Indian sub-continent rendering an air repatriation not an option, the company said.

Permission had however been granted by the local officials to take on provisions and bunkers off the coast of Phuket before the ships’ onward voyages.

The Columbus was operating a four month world cruise before her voyage curtailment in Semarang (Indonesia) while the Vasco da Gama was operating a Northbound voyage from Fremantle and Singapore via the Suez Canal to Tilbury.

This unique repatriation operation was a huge logistical challenge for officers and crew involving the transfer of over 500 pieces of luggage, 239 passengers and the transfer of provisions all undertaken by tender. The operation commenced at 6:30am and was completed by 12:00pm. 

Christian Verhounig, Chief Executive at Cruise & Maritime Voyages said: “We are tremendously proud of our onboard and shoreside teams for their fantastic job in delivering this safe and effective evacuation and relief operation. On behalf of the directors, staff and especially our hard-working crew CMV would like to thank all our current passengers for their support, patience and understanding during this repatriation operation.”

The Columbus is now undertaking a 7,842 nautical mile voyage directly back to the UK with 907 passengers including 602 British nationals and 619 crew members onboard. The voyage includes a technical call in Colombo, Sri Lanka then via the Suez Canal with a final technical call before arriving back in Tilbury on April 13.

The Vasco da Gama is sailing a 2,837 nautical mile voyage directly back to Australia with 952 passengers including 907 Australian and New Zealander nationals and 552 crewonboard arriving back in Fremantle (Perth) on March 27.

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