After seven months since the shutdown of the cruise shipping industry due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is still crew waiting for repatriation.
While the majority of the crew members were repatriated a long time ago, 103 crew from Mauritius are still stranded on three MSC Cruises ships in Brazil. They have been patiently waiting for positive news from their Government, the recruiting Agency Oceangoers, and MSC Cruises to return home.
25 Mauritian crew are still on MSC Musica - currently anchored off Port Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and in the area are two more fleetmates (MSC Seaview and MSC Poesia) carrying 49 and 29 Mauritian crew, respectively.
Following a wealth of cancelations because of specific demands by the Mauritius government, limited flight availabilities, and travel restrictions, their hopes were raised for a September 16 flight that was approved by Mauritius. However, the news came up that might not happen. The Mauritian recruiting agency informed the crew members there was tentative repatriation flight mid-September and they were working closely with the relevant authorities to make the return back home a reality.
To raise awareness, Mauritian crew stranded on the MSC Cruises ships took to the open deck where they sleep next to their packed suitcases. They said they will not move till they get a final confirmation about flight details.
The cruise company sent an update to the crew saying MSC Cruises was still planning to book crew flights.