Greg Mortimer cruise ship's crew begin repatriation

   May 12, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

A month after passengers were flown to Australia from Uruguay, the 89 crew which remained aboard the Coronavirus-hit Greg Mortimer ship have started their return home. The vessel, which was anchored off Uruguay's coast, on Monday afternoon (May 11) docked in Port Montevideo, with at least 37 COVID-positive cases.

On Tuesday, May 12, following strict protocols, the crew will be isolated in 2 different, specially staffed hotels (for the negative and positive cases) for a 14-day quarantine prior to repatriation.

An Australian law firm is currently launching a class action against Aurora Expeditions (ship operator) after a total of 128 of the 217 people onboard Greg Mortimer became infected with COVID-19. The ship departed for Antarctica from Argentina on March 15, 2020 - four days after the pandemic was declared.

A passenger started displaying flu-like symptoms after a week at sea, prompting the vessel to change course and head to Uruguay. On March 27, Uruguayan authorities allowed Greg Mortimer to anchor off Montevideo and on April 10 travellers were able to catch a charter flight to Australia.

The Sydney NSW-based Aurora Expeditions is accused of “endangering the safety” of the 217 people by allowing the cruise ship to leave and for forcing tourists to self-isolate in their staterooms for 2+ weeks.