Ponant said he disembarked all passengers on the Jacques Cartier in Marseille, France, after a Covid-19 outbreak of 19 crew and passengers kept everyone on board for more than a week.
The French line said that working closely with regional health authorities and other authorities, the 72 passengers left the ship on Monday evening, November 2, after being tested. A total of 19 cases – seven passengers and 12 crew members – were confirmed by onboard testing.
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Ponant said there were initially two crew members who tested positive the night the ship left Valletta, Malta, for Italy on October 25. Further testing revealed more cases, and the ship was unable to leave Syracuse, on the Italian island of Sicily. , until authorities determine where the vessel should sail next. The cruise was originally scheduled to end on November 2 in Athens.
The French line said tests throughout the week revealed a total of 17 cases; those who tested positive were immediately placed in isolation in their cubicles. The last two positive tests were found on arrival in Marseille.
Ponant restarted the cruise service on July 11 and said it tested every crew member and passenger before boarding and took the temperatures of everyone on board at least three times a day through an automated temperature measurement terminal.
France is one of several European countries that entered partial lockdown this week in a bid to curb a Covid-19 outbreak. Some cruise lines said last week they were canceling or scaling back operations as a result, while others would continue to sail.
Ponant said it has successfully completed more than 60 cruises and carried more than 3,500 passengers.