Cruise & Maritime Voyages completed a challenging rendezvous 12 nautical miles off the coast of Phuket, when Columbus and Vasco da Gama met to undertake a challenging passenger transfer and repatriation process.

Involving 239 passengers, the ship to ship exchange by tender followed an announcement that cruise operations would be suspended and all CMV ships returned to their home ports. With the Port of Phuket closed to cruise ships, along with all other ports in Southeast Asia and the wider Indian sub-continent, air repatriation wasn’t an option. However, permission had been granted by the local Port Authorities to take on provisions off the coast of Phuket before the ship began their onward voyages. 

So began a unique repatriation operation presenting a massive logistical challenge for officers and crew, involving the transfer of more than 500 pieces of luggage and 238 passengers over the course of almost six hours, and all undertaken by tender. 

Christian Verhounig, Chief Executive at Cruise & Maritime Voyages said, “We are tremendously proud of our onboard and shoreside teams for their fantastic job in delivering this safe and effective evacuation and relief operation. On behalf of the directors, staff and especially our hard-working crew CMV would like to thank all our current passengers for their support, patience and understanding during this repatriation operation.”