Around 1,400 holidaymakers face a flight back to the UK from Singapore on a 15-hour flight after most Asian ports have stopped accepting cruise ships due to the coronavirus.
The TUI ship operator said he was forced to abandon the program because Vietnam was refusing entry to the ship, although nobody on the ship was suspected of having the bug.
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Future cruises in Asia have been canceled until further notice as the number of infections worldwide is greater than 109,000, with approximately 3,800 deaths.
Before the ship sailed, passengers were worried that it would be canceled and asked for a refund or another cruise – but reportedly they would have been rejected and told that it would go on.
Marella Discovery had done an 11-day tour called Enchanting Far East 1, which cost £ 1,200 per person.
He sailed to Pulau Langkawi Island, Malaysia, last Thursday and was due to dock in Vietnam today.
Here he would have spent a couple of days before sailing to the ports of Malacca and the island of Pulau Langkawi with the cruise that will end this Thursday.
But TUI said the cruise had to be stopped because Vietnam and Malaysia were closing their ports.
The ship has now been denied entry into Vietnam … they wanted everyone on board to see a doctor, although everyone is fine
Passenger Nick Haigh
A spokesman told Sun Online: “We can confirm that we have made the difficult decision to limit Marella Discovery’s current navigation in Asia.
“Due to the restrictive measures currently in place for cruise ships across the region, we can no longer offer people-booked itineraries or comparable alternatives.
“Ports are closing as governments are diverting necessary resources from entry points such as ports and airports to their hospitals and clinics.
“Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India no longer accept cruise ship arrivals and Vietnam and Thailand are imposing entry requirements that would have a serious impact on our customers’ holidays.
“We are in contact with all customers and are currently working hard to organize the flights home for our customers on board.
“We appreciate the patience of those customers and will keep them updated frequently as we confirm plans for their return home.”
“We are currently working on arranging home flights for our customers, so we cannot confirm anything beyond our stop in Singapore at the moment.”
Passenger Nick Haigh wrote on Facebook yesterday: “The ship has now been denied entry into Vietnam.
“They wanted everyone on board to see a doctor, even if everyone is fine, heading to Singapore now hoping to dock, two more days at sea now.”
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TUI has said it will offer compensation to cruise and future customers.
Currently five cruise ships have been affected by fears of coronavirus outbreaks in the past few days.
The Regal Princess had been detained off the coast of Florida after two crew members had fallen ill, although she had been allowed to dock in Port Everglades after they had tested negative.
Meanwhile, the Grand Princess was detained on the California coast until after 19 crew members and two passengers was diagnosed with the disease.
The UK is scrambling to send a plane to save 142 Britons stranded aboard the ship
A large group of UK citizens are stranded on the Grand Princess, abandoned off the coast of California after being there rejected for docking due to positive bug tests.
Previously, the U.S. Marines had piloted helicopter test kits for officers on board, which led to 21 people diagnosed with COVID-19.
No10 said this morning: “We are working intensely with the US authorities on a flight for British citizens on the crew ship.”
A British woman trapped on the ship says that passengers “fight for food” and that “only Americans will leave” for testing.
Another abandoned ship is the MSC Lirica, with around 1,400 people on board.
He was due to dock in Mangaluru, Southwest India on Saturday morning, but officials refused permission.
The Swiss-owned MSC Opera with 2,302 passengers on board the crew was also forced to detour to Messina in Italy after being removed from Malta.
And Egyptian authorities confirmed yesterday that 45 people on a Nile cruise ship had been diagnosed with coronavirus.
He was towed to the city of Luxor and placed in quarantine.