Ipswich cruise company fly staff out to help passengers over coronavirus fears

PUBLISHED: 19:39 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 19:39 28 February 2020

Fred, Olsen are based in Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Fred, Olsen are based in Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS


Ipswich-based cruise line company Fred. Olsen say they have increased sanitisation levels across its fleet after one of its ships was turned back following coronavirus concerns.

The ship, the Braemar, was refused debarkation in the Dominican Republic following concerns about some of the passengers on board.

Two Britons were among eight people being monitored on board the cruise ship, owned by the company which has its headquarters in Ipswich.

A joint statement by the Public Health Ministry and port authority on the island said the captain of the Braemar, which is carrying around 1,500 people, reported that four Filipinos, two British citizens and two US citizens were under medical observation for symptoms such as fever, coughing, or breathing difficulty.

A spokesman for Fred. Olsen said: "Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines can confirm that its ship Braemar has left the Port of La Romana, Dominican Republic, after local authorities refused for debarkation operations to begin on Wednesday, February 27, 2020.

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"We are in discussions with the relevant authorities on nearby Caribbean islands, as well as a number of airlines, to enable our guests to disembark and secure onward travel for them to return home, and are awaiting advice on the next steps.

"All guests who were due to join Braemar on the next cruise have been provided with hotel accommodation in the Dominican Republic, and a team from Fred. Olsen's UK Head Office has been sent to the island to assist these guests while we secure a new departure date for their cruise. We are keeping all guests, both on board and ashore, fully informed at all times.

"We believe that the refusal for us to commence debarkation operations in the Port of La Romana was the result of a very small number of influenza-like cases on board. Our medical team has confirmed that they are all feeling better. No guests or crew are, or have been, displaying symptoms that are considered to be consistent with those of Coronavirus.

"The safety and well-being of all our guests and crew is our number one priority and we are monitoring closely the developing COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus situation and taking the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and World Health Organisation, as well as Public Health England and CLIA.

"As a precautionary measure, for some time Fred. Olsen has been operating a raised level of sanitisation across its fleet, in addition to health questionnaires and non-invasive screening measures for guests embarking and re-joining the ship from overland tours, and for ship visitors.

"Fred. Olsen's cruise ships meet, at all times, the highest safety, hygiene and health standards."

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