South African crew members aboard Princess Cruise liners proudly sang the national anthem as they arrived back in the Mother City after months off being stuck onboard amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Princess Cruises paused operations months ago as the pandemic worsened, leaving their crew members stuck on board as countries closed their borders. On April 28, Princess Cruises announced that they had put a repatriation plan into action to sail their team members home to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Canada.
A crew member aboard the Princess liner confirmed that Cape Town was one of the stops for the repatriation plan.
“Most of the crew are from various Asian countries, and South Africans from 4 different ships in Miami were collected and placed here to repatriate us. The rest will continue on to India, Philippines and other countries. Unfortunately they all have to wait while our COVID tests are being done. They all want to get home to their families too.”
SA will technically be our first stop with regards to actually docking and receiving supplies. But only South Africans will get off,” said the anonymous crew member.
The South African crew members arrived this past weekend and today on two separate ships: the Island Princess and the Crown Princess. Approximately 113 South African crew members were aboard. As they neared the shore, the broke out into the national anthem. Watch the inspiring moment here:
Jayme Dodo is one of the crew members aboard. His father, Johnny, told Cape Town ETC that crew have been treated well by the company.
“My son’s contact ended mid March and he’s been waiting on repatriation to South Africa since then. The company has been very good to the crew, they were all given passenger cabins,” he said.
“The down side was he had to be under lockdown twice: once on his original ship the Sky Princess and again when they were transferred to the Island Princess.
“They sailed from the Caribbean as the cruise ships with crew only were docked there, awaiting permission from the countries to be allowed to dock and drop off crew. Once lock down was over they had a good time.”
All crew members are awaiting their COVID-19 testing results and will be quarantined for two weeks at a safe facility. Once the two week period is up and they are deemed safe to leave, they will be allowed to return to their respective homes.
Picture: screenshot from video