TUI UK's cruise ship Marella Explorer 2 with Coronavirus passengers and crew

   April 12, 2020 ,   Accidents

On March 25, Marella Explorer 2 docked in Port Bridgetown (Barbados) and reported 4 crew with flu-like symptoms, who were later tested positive for COVID-19. On March 26, many (not all, reportedly 200) passengers were disembarked and flown back to the UK.

According to TUI UK's statement, none of the passengers tested Coronavirus-positive but "a small number of guests" were refused permissions to fly as they were showing flu-like symptoms. These passengers remained on the ship and were isolated in separate staterooms.

In the afternoon on March 30, 2020, the ship anchored off Puerto Progreso (Yucatan Mexico). Local media news reported that the vessel was carrying a total of 19 passengers and 4 crew with flu-like symptoms. On humanitarian grounds, the ship was allowed to dock (at SSA Mexico Cruise Terminal) and disembark most of its passengers and some crew. TUI Cruises (Marella's managing company) denied that the ship had any Coronavirus cases.

On March 31, 2020, a male passenger was medevaced (via a Mexican Navy vessel), transported to Progreso (Yucatan Mexico) and hospitalized in Merida. The man was in critical condition and on April 1 it was announced that he had died in the hospital.

Marella Explorer 2 cruise ship

When the cruise liner was anchored off Puerto Progreso, the Mexican Government allowed the debarkation of a total of 46 British passengers, who were later flown back to the UK via charter flight. The debarkation was permitted after Marella Cruises arranged a charter flight to repatriate from England a total of 141 Mexican citizens stuck there by the UK-imposed flight restrictions (due to the Coronavirus pandemic). Reportedly, some of the disembarked British tourists were showing flu-like symptoms.

Both repatriations were coordinated by the Mexican and British governments. Both charter flights were paid by TUI AG (Marella Cruises' parent company/shipowner). The cruise liner then made a Transatlantic crossing back to the UK (via the Canary Islands). Reportedly, many of the staff-crew onboard were experiencing flu-like symptoms.

For other Marella Explorer 2 accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.

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.