Three cruises stuck at sea during coronavirus pandemic set to make landfall
The Costa Deliziosa docked in Barcelona Monday, allowing almost 200 passengers to disembark for the first time in five weeks.(PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Three cruises that began before any coronavirus deaths were reported will dock Monday, finally clearing the seas.
The MSC Magnifica will disembark in Marseilles, the Pacific Princess in Los Angeles and the Costa Deliziosa in Barcelona before a final stop in Genoa in the final step to shutting down the cruise industry during the deadly pandemic.
The three world cruises have been on the water for weeks while passengers watched from afar as tens of thousands of people died, including hundreds aboard other cruises.
“It was not surreal. It was incredible,” Carlos Payá, who is sailing on the Costa Deliziosa with his wife, said. ¨We have family in our home countries. The news that was arriving from home was causing us all a lot of worry and grief. For us, it was a stroke of good luck to be where we were.”
The Costa Deliziosa left Venice on Jan. 5 for a 112-day voyage that was supposed to end on April 26. But the ship has only touched land to refuel in more than a month.
Almost 170 passengers are expected to disembark the Costa Deliziosa Monday, while more than 1,600 others will continue on to Genoa and disembark Wednesday.
The Pacific Princess, which set sail on Jan. 5 from Fort Lauderdale, will drop its last passengers off in California after stops in Australia and Hawaii.
And the MSC Magnifica, which also left on Jan. 5 from Genoa, will find land in Marseilles with more than 1,700 passengers aboard.
All three cruises set sail 25 days before the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a public health emergency and two months before it was labeled a global pandemic.
On Jan. 5, when the ships left port, only 59 people had tested positive, all in Wuhan, China.