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Health and Travel Alert Update

Last Updated Monday 30 March 10.50am (ACDT)



Due to the escalating global pandemic outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, updated Government advisories and the impending lockdown of many ports around the world, effective immediately, Cruise & Maritime Voyages has temporarily suspended all worldwide cruise operations and is ceasing embarkations for six weeks until Friday 24 April 2020.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages is Britain & Australia's leading privately owned independent cruise line and together with its sister brand, TransOcean Kreuzfahrten in Germany, is a business built on solid foundations with a huge and loyal customer base and valued international travel trade support.

Our top and overriding priority is the health and safety of our passengers and crew. As such, all CMV vessels will be navigating to the nearest available disembarkation port with the repatriation of international passengers as required.

CEO, Christian Verhounig said, "Due to this fast-evolving global pandemic, we are simply unable to continue performing our scheduled itineraries and to deliver the travel experience expected by our valued passengers. We have therefore taken the very difficult decision to temporarily suspend all cruises until Friday 24 April 2020 when we very much hope to be able to resume service. These are indeed challenging circumstances but rest assured, they will be overcome with fortitude and the minimum of disruption". View Mr Verhounig’s full video statement here.

All affected passengers will be offered a full refund or an attractive future cruise credit of 125% of the value of their cruise. This credit can be used against the best deal of the day including the current 2021 Buy One Get One Free Offers & 2020 late saver deals. Passengers that opt to transfer will also enjoy a special 20% discount against CMV's Onboard Additions beverage packages, plus a 10% shore excursion discount and a one cabin category upgrade (subject to availability).

The future cruise credit can be used to purchase any published cruises featured in CMV's 2020 & 2021 cruise programs and must be booked by 31st July 2020.

Further details will be published in due course and we will be contacting affected passengers as a matter of urgency.

Information regarding passengers onboard a curtailed cruise

Our top and overriding priority is the health and safety of our passengers and crew. As such, all CMV vessels have or are navigating to the nearest available disembarkation port and are assisting passengers with their onwards journeys where possible.

Passengers are being kept informed of the situation as new information is made available and all passengers and their agents have been contacted to discuss compensation options for the curtailment.

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama docked at Fremantle at 17.00 Friday night, 27 March 2020. After 13 days since having any contact with anyone outside of the ship, all crew and guests arrived physically well.   

On Saturday 28 March, passengers were screened by the Department of Health, Western Australia, including temperature checks, and four guests from separate cabins were also randomly tested for COVID-19, all returning negative results. New Zealand passengers departed their flight as scheduled in the early hours of Sunday morning (0240) and have arrived safely in New Zealand.

On Sunday afternoon, CMV finally received details of the transfers for the 197 Western Australian passengers who will be self-isolated on Rottnest Island from 30 March, while all other Australian passengers from interstate (nationals and residents) will be transferred from mid-afternoon Monday to hotels around Perth.

Western Australian residents on board will depart for Rottnest Island today via ferries throughout the morning, while Non-Western Australian residents will be transferred by coach to hotels throughout the afternoon.

Australian Border Force has advised that Vasco da Gama must leave Australian waters as soon as possible afterwards, and that its 552-strong crew will not be allowed to take flights home. The ship and crew are expected to depart Fremantle for London, Tilbury with no passengers on board tonight, Monday 30 March, once all guests have disembarked the ship (expected to be at 19.00 hours).


Columbus is now proceeding towards London (Tilbury) and is expected to finally disembark passengers around the Tuesday 14th of April, to allow for a technical call at Valletta, Malta on Monday 6th April. Due to the closure of ports, there is no option for passengers to disembark the ship in any other port than London (Tilbury).

Passengers onboard have been given free internet access to help them keep in touch with friends and family, as well as to make onwards travel arrangements. If you would like to get in touch with a family member or friend currently onboard Columbus, especially if you are assisting them with onwards travel arrangements, please send your message, along with their name and cabin number to the email address below, and we'll ensure they receive it:


Marco Polo

Due to continued port and border closures, as well as flight cancellations throughout Europe, to ensure passengers a safe onwards journey Marco Polo proceeded directly to Bristol, arriving on Sunday 22 March. Passengers were free to start disembarking from Monday 23 March, with all remaining passengers finally disembarked on Tuesday 24 March.


All passengers disembarked Magellan in London (Tilbury) on Monday 16 March.


All passengers disembarked Astoria in Poole on Saturday 14 March.


Protecting Passengers and Crew

Heightened precautions have now been imposed in numerous ports of call. As a result of these recently introduced measures, with immediate effect, the following measures have been implemented:

  • Pre-boarding screening, including but not limited to temperature checks, will be conducted for all passengers, crew and visitors in all embarkation ports with further medical evaluation if necessary.
  • As part of these measures, passengers and crew who have travelled from or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Iran or Italy within 30 days of embarkation will not be permitted to board our ships.
  • All persons who, within 30 days before embarkation, have had close contact with anyone suspected or diagnosed as having coronavirus, or who is currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to coronavirus, will not be permitted to board our ships.
    • If a passenger arrives at the ship and shows symptoms of coronavirus, then they will be refused boarding.
    • Pre-boarding health reporting for all passengers and crew advising them of their obligation to report any illness symptoms.
    • Reporting to local and national health authorities of all cases of fever and respiratory illness.
    • Additional sanitation is be performed over and above our regular stringent cleaning protocols
    • Those passengers who are taking an international flight to board a Cruise & Maritime Voyages ship will have to submit a copy of their flight itinerary prior to leaving and have a copy to show upon request at check-in for their cruise. Failure to do so may result in passengers being denied boarding.


Upcoming Itinerary Changes

Currently all upcoming CMV cruises scheduled to depart after 24 April 2020 will be operating as normal and there are no itinerary changes.

In the event of any new itinerary or operational changes for sailings, affected passengers will be contacted as a matter of urgency by CMV or their travel agent.


Further Information/Enquiries

Cruise & Maritime Voyages would again like to apologise for any inconvenience that these alterations and new procedures may cause. The safety and health of our passengers and crew is our top priority and we will contnue to monitor the worldwide  situation and take advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and international communities and authorities.

We are currently experiencing higher than usual enquiries. In light of this, our customer services teams are firstly working to assist passengers who are due to cruise in the next 14 days.

If you are not due to cruise within the next 14 days and your query is not urgent we would appreciate you waiting and contacting us closer to your cruise.

If you would like more information, please contact your travel agent or:

United Kingdom or +44 (0) 1708 893 103

United States of America or +1 855 206 4897

Australia & Asia or +61 8 7123 4033


For general information on coronavirus (COVID-19)

World Health Organisation

Foreign & Commonwealth Office