Cordelia Cruises Quickly Responds to Cases Onboard

Empress

Cordelia Cruises has reported that several people have tested positive for coronavirus onboard its only ship, all of them being asymptomatic. The Empress has therefore arrived in Mumbai today in order to fly its guests back to Goa. The sailing that was scheduled to depart on Jan. 5 has also been cancelled.

According to an official statement from the cruise line’s CEO and President Jurgen Bailom, the company decided to test all the Empress guests after one crew member tested positive.

He explained that the crew member worked “at the back of the house” and showed “mild symptoms” onboard on Jan. 2.

“(The) crew member who showed mild symptoms did so very close to departure and was immediately and safely isolated. This means, that the crew member wasn’t exposed to anyone or (anyone was exposed to them) for over 15 hours,” Bailom said in the statement.

No further crew members have been identified to be infected after the testing of all crew and passengers, according to the cruise line. All crew members onboard the Empress are fully vaccinated and have been onboard on four to six months contracts without leaving the ship since September 2021, Bailom said.

Cordelia Cruises also requires its guests to be fully vaccinated, as well as to submit a negative PCR test result taken no more than 48 prior to boarding in order to sail.

Bailom said that he thinks that the guests must have been positive before they arrived on the ship.

“One may hence mindfully arrive at the conjecture that the guests who have tested positive as of this morning were already infected with the virus prior to boarding. However, their tests showed otherwise, hence they were permitted onboard. We are aware of several similar incidents on flights and trains. These are unfortunate and unexpected despite everyone taking utmost care,” Bailom said. 

Cordelia Cruises has been operating short domestic sailings along the Indian coast since September 2021. The sailings are available as two-, three- and five-night itineraries with embarkations in Mumbai and Goa.

Bailom praised the work of his cruise line in response to this incident and the pandemic as a whole.

“Cordelia Cruises (has shown) exemplary proactiveness in not only conducting the rapid antigen test but also, very responsibly informing the concerned authorities of the incident,” Bailom said. “Cordelia Cruises is compliant with all regulations by DG Shipping, India and mindfully follows all Covid protocols … (Our) conditions are more onerous than operation of domestic flights in India yet we adhere to the same by going above and beyond.”

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