Crew transfer is underway between two Royal Caribbean ships off Sydney NSW's coast - Radiance of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. It is thought the liners may be preparing to return their staff to homeports. Meanwhile, NSW Health is in crisis mode following leaked emails that revealed they knew of sick cruisers on Ruby Princess two days before ship's docking in Port Sydney NSW.
Health authorities are backing the decision to dock the travellers since there were no confirmed cases onboard, despite not waiting for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) test results to be returned.
On April 3, the shipowner RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd) announced plans to use its Australia-based vessels to repatriate most of their staff-crew by transporting them to their home-countries - Indonesia, Philippines and China, and to India (via charter flights from Indonesia and Philippines). Three RCI Australia ships (Ovation, Spectrum, Voyager) were at the time anchored off Australia's coast. The 3 cruise liners were scheduled to carry a total of 2584 people - embarked (via tender boats) from all 5 RCCL-owned ships (Spectrum OTS, Ovation OTS, Radiance OTS, Voyager OTS, Celebrity Solstice).
From Radiance OTS to Spectrum OTS were transferred ~600 crew. Spectrum OTS was planned to arrive in Bali Indonesia (April 16, to disembark 261 Indonesians), in Manila Philippines (April 22, to disembark 577 Filipino) and in Shanghai China (May 11, to disembark 522 Chinese). From Bali Indonesia, RCCL arranged charter flights to repatriate 299 Indian nationals.
Crew from Celebrity Solstice were transferred to Ovation OTS (204 Indian, 182 Indonesian, 13 Chinese) and Voyager OTS (382 Filipino). Ovation OTS headed to Bali Indonesia (planned arrival April 19) to disembark 239 Indonesians. Voyager OTS also loaded some of the Ovation's crew (880 Filipino, 13 Chinese) and headed toward Manila Philippines (planned arrival April 25) to disembark a total of 1232 people, plus 438 Indian nationals (charter flights to India).
All the 5 RCCL liners departed Australia on April 4, carrying only crew.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.