Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will repatriate all crew members that joined recently and are not part of the skeleton crew aboard the fleet, according to Crew Center who cites an announcement made at a meeting.
This announcement comes just a couple of months after Norwegian boarded thousands of crew members to prepare the ships for a resumption of service after the CDC regulations allowed for conditional cruising, which has now been pushed to at least May.
“(T)he crew onboard received a letter with all the details regarding the latest repatriation process,” Crew Center reported.
According to the Crew Center website, the repatriation will take place on two appointed ships: The Norwegian Joy and the Norwegian Encore.
The Joy will be gathering non-essential crew from the ships stationed in the Caribbean and then proceed to the Philippines; while the Encore will be collecting crew on its journey from Southampton to Asia.
“The repatriation process will be similar to the one that took place last year with crew transfers to the appropriate vessel, before the crew finally sails to their homes in India, Indonesia and the Philippines, with anticipated arrival to the final destinations in late March or early April 2021,” Crew Center wrote.
“This will be a long and sad journey for all the crew onboard as their hopes and dreams to be the first to set sail with guests onboard will not materialize at this point. They have made countless sacrifices, PCR tests, and quarantines to join the ships again to serve guests and ultimately provide for their family,” it added.
According to Crew Center, this decision did not come easy to Norwegian and was not in the company plan. The cruise line promised the crew members who are to be repatriated that they’ll be prioritized for new assignments “as much as possible.”