13 people (3 passengers and 10 crew) on Ponant’s cruise ship Le Jacques Cartier (2020-newbuild) tested COVID-positive and the vessel suspended the planned itinerary to return to homeport Marseille France.
The outbreak started on October 26 when the ship arrived at Port Siracusa (Sicily Italy). Two crew were diagnosed with COVID-19, and Le Jacques Cartier initiated the onboard response procedures.
Following a period of quarantine, authorities in Italy gave the cruise ship permission to depart, and the government of France will allow her to sail back to Marseille to disembark her guests. As of Sunday, November 1, she was underway, approaching her destination.
Ponant instituted a "sail with confidence" strategy in order to create what the company describes as a "hermetic 'COVID-safe' sanitary bubble" for its cruise passengers. Before boarding, Ponant requires a health questionnaire as well as a mandatory PCR test, among others.
Le Jacques Cartier is Ponant's newest ship and was delivered back in July. She has a passenger capacity of 180 but is now sailing with reduced occupancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a preventive measure.
For more Le Jacques Cartier accidents and incidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.