The British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency has detained a number of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) ships that are currently laid up in London Tilbury and Bristol Avonmouth following an inspection earlier in the week.
CMV said in a statement it has been operating for more than a decade without any detentions and has fully cooperated with the inspections.
The Astoria, Astor, Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo cruise ships were detained by the MCA following the inspections due to issues relating to expired crew contracts and crew that had been aboard in some cases for over a year. The Magellan was also inspected and given 14 days to resolve a number of issues.
Other reports said there were temporary delays in the payment of wages, which CMV said it had corrected.
Christian Verhounig, CEO, commented: “CMV has in the past and is continuing to work hard to cooperate fully with the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and to rectify the crew contract issues which have largely contributed to the detention of five CMV ships. We hope this issue has raised awareness of the plight of our crew with the various embassies and that they will now assist CMV with the repatriation of crew members, remaining countries have fully engaged in supporting CMV over the past two days. We are confident that with the sudden increase in support and help we will be able to repatriate the remaining crew ideally before the end of the month. CMV apologizes for any inconvenience or disruption that these issues may have caused for their highly valued crew.”
Verhounig said the company’s number one priority was to care and repatriate crew members.
“CMV has been in high level talks with the Indian High Commission to obtain special landing permits and other international governments, to help facilitate and expediate our crew’s safe return back home to their families,” he said. “Our crew have endured a pro-longed period quarantined on board our ships during lockdown and are understandably anxious and distressed as a result. We fully sympathise with and understand our crew’s frustration and upset at being held under quarantine conditions onboard our ships due to the local restrictions imposed.”