An elderly couple face a dangerous 11,000-mile trip to the United States after their cruise ship announced it was canceling the return leg of their dream-world trip – and “unloading” them to Australia.
There are no coronavirus cases aboard the Holland America Line Amsterdam, however the four-month “grand trip” is demolished halfway for safety reasons.
Passengers will be forced to leave Perth on Sunday and leave for home while the 1,380 sails ship will go up to Fort Lauderdale in Florida with only luggage and crew on board.
The leaders refused all requests to bring even the oldest and most vulnerable people home, saying that there is no guarantee that Amsterdam will be allowed to dock for food or medicine on the 30-day return journey.
Among those stranded are Karin Bogliolo, 80, and his wife Judy Rickard, 69, who has downsized their San Jose, California home to pay over $ 40,000 for their tickets.
Elderly couple Karin Bogliolo, 80 years old and Judy Rickard, 69 years old, will remain stranded in Australia on Sunday after their docking at cruise ships and will have to find their way home to California
The Holland America Line Amsterdam cruise ship canceled its four-month “big trip” halfway through the trip for safety reasons
“He’s trying not to get angry and angry, but you can imagine how they felt when the captain came to announce, your bags can come with us to Fort Lauderdale but you have to go down to Australia,” the 53-year-old daughter of Karin Tamsin Mayhead, he told DailyMail.com.
Physically I think they’ll be able to get him back home, but at what cost? Right now they don’t have the virus, nobody on the ship has.
‘But getting them off and flying halfway around the world will put them at the highest possible risk of getting it.
‘Right now I’m in a protected bubble, actually one of the last places on earth that is virus free. The safest place for them is on that boat.
The Amsterdam, operated by the Washington-based Holland America Line in Seattle, left Port Everglades on January 4, when the Coronavirus pandemic was in its infancy, and was scheduled for May 12.
The travel industry has since stopped, with travel suspended or scrapped across the world when it became clear how vulnerable ships packed to devastating outbreaks were.
Amsterdam had previously given up on its Asian leg, excluding stops in China and Japan, but was able to visit Brazil, Argentina, Easter Island, Tonga, New Zealand and even Antarctica – the only continent in the world without a confirmed case COVID-19.
The $ 400 million boat has been at sea for the past 11 days and will arrive in Fremantle, a suburb of Perth on Australia’s west coast, this weekend when passengers will be sorted.
Flights are still in operation from Perth Airport, starting at $ 682 for economy seats and making at least two stops on the route to Fort Lauderdale, with a minimum journey time of almost 25 hours.
Karin’s daughter told DailyMail.com: ‘Getting them off and flying halfway around the world will put them at the highest possible risk of getting [the virus]’Karin is pictured aboard the ship with the crew
Tamsin managed to book seats for the former publishing house Karin, a mother of two, a British grandmother and great-grandmother, and Judy a retired American author, whom her mother married in 2011.
But he fears that some of the elderly passengers will get stuck in Australia and may no longer see loved ones.
“They say they care about these people, but does it matter just to download people who are 90 in a strange country in the middle of the world?” asked Tamsin, 53, who lives in Guildford in south-east England.
‘Is it worrying to download disabled or wheelchair-bound people, like some of these people without a doubt?
‘It may take some of these people a week to go home, even if they are in good condition to catch a flight. You wonder if some of them will ever go home.
“It’s just a nightmare situation and I understand that it’s not all about Holland America, the countries have to show some compassion so that the boat can dock when needed and bring everyone home safely.”
Holland America Line, a Miami, Florida-based Carnival subsidiary, the largest cruise operator in the world, said it was doing everything possible to help passengers return to Florida.
“We are fully aware and understand that some of our guests have concerns about air travel from Australia in relation to their age and individual health conditions,” the company said in a statement to DailyMail.com.
“Our senior medical team both on board and at our headquarters is fully committed to reviewing the circumstances of the very limited number of guests who may require special assistance in travel planning, in line with the International Transport Association’s eligibility standards ( IATA) for air travel. ‘
There are no coronavirus cases on board but the ship will not return to Florida as planned, and instead will dock in Perth, Australia on Sunday. Judy is pictured on board in the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific
Amsterdam left Port Everglades on January 4, when the coronavirus was in its infancy, and was due to return to Florida on May 12. Karin is pictured in Antarctica
Luxurious Amsterdam, known for its multi-million dollar art collection on board, sails to Alaska during the summer as it embarks on trips around the world to Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in the winter.
The biggest obstacle for the sprawling ship is finding nations willing to let it dock to refuel, given the number of countries rushing to close borders and close ports.
‘We have no way of predicting when they will open. The trip is estimated to last at least 30 days and will likely face additional challenges along the way with provisioning, “added the note.
‘Medical capabilities aboard the ship are limited and primarily serve to stabilize patients before taking them to the nearest medical facility for evaluation and treatment.
“In today’s environment we cannot be certain that we would have the opportunity to do so or to have access to medical care and life-saving services along the remote path.”
Thousands of Americans were caught in chaos as cruise operators canceled travel or left them abandoned on the high seas due to the pandemic.
They make up about 200 of the 1,400 passengers currently stranded aboard the Costa Luminosa and stranded from landing on the ground in the Spanish Canary Islands, where the boat is currently anchored.
Dozens of U.S. citizens are among the 609 people trapped on the Silver Shadow, another isolated cruise ship off the coast of Recife in northeastern Brazil.
The boat was returning from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Fort Lauderdale when a 78-year-old Canadian tested positive for COVID-19.