The passenger-free Oceania Cruises ship Riviera is expected to dock on Sunday, June 14, in Eastport (Maine USA) for “an extended period” (cold lay-up) during the cruising industry's shut down period. Oceania Riviera will tie up to Eastport's breakwater pier, with its crew not allowed to disembark the ship due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Eastport ME is a small city (population around 1300) consisting entirely of islands, the largest of which is Moose Island. The local port authority has been considering hosting the ship and charging it to tie up to the cruise ship pier, since at least April.
According to Chris Gardner (port authority’s executive director,) “by allowing the ship to tie up in Eastport, and making sure none of the crew contacts with local residents, the city can earn some revenue and ensure that local residents are not exposed to COVID-19.”
The port authority usually charges visiting ships USD 2 per foot per day to tie up to the pier and expects Oceania Cruises (fully-owned subsidiary of NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd) to pay the same. At LOA length 785 feet, that would form a daily payment of USD 1570. All the money paid will go toward rebuilding the cruise pier, which partially collapsed back in 2014, Gardner added.
While negotiating with the cruise company, local officials contacted local vendors in an effort to find firms that can keep the crew members supplied while they are in port.
Riviera’s crew will have to comply with the Governor's order to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival. For the duration of their stay, the crew will also be issued a stay-onboard order from the US Customs and Border Protection.