The Voice of the Cruise Industry
Latest News
MENU menu

Coronavirus: Cruise ship arrives in Tilbury after month-long repatriation voyage

Cruise and Maritime Voyages, CMV, ship, cruise, travel agents, agents, trade partners, ship visits
photo_camera CMV Columbus

Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ (CMV) cruise ship Columbus is due back in London Tilbury today (14 April) following a month-long repatriation voyage from Phuket, Thailand on 18 March.

Columbus was sailing on a 120-night Grand Round the World Cruise, which sailed from London Tilbury 6 January 2020, but following the global suspension of sailings, was ordered to turn back.

CMV has recorded no coronavirus cases with any passengers or crew members on board Columbus or any other ships in its fleet of six.

Columbus sailed on her 7842 nautical mile repatriation voyage directly back to the UK from Phuket, Thailand with 907 passengers including 602 British nationals and 619 crew members onboard.

The voyage included a technical call in Colombo, Sri Lanka, transited the Suez Canal and five passengers were repatriated via tender to Malta and Gibraltar.

She was due to dock at the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury at 8am.

In a statement, the cruise line said: “CMV’s top and overriding priority is the health and safety of all our passengers and crew.

Columbus has remained under heightened levels of hygiene protocols during the repatriation voyage. CMV carried out a unique passenger transfer operation at sea, just off the coast of Phuket, in order to transfer British Nationals from CMV’s Vasco da Gama to Columbus to bring them home to London.

“At the same time, Australian passengers were transferred from Columbus to Vasco da Gama in order to repatriate them to Fremantle.”

CMV was in contact with UK Department of Transport, Border Force, UK Public Health, the Port of Tilbury, as well as the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), to confirm details of Columbus’ arrival into London Tilbury.

Guests will follow a strict phased disembarkation process incorporating social distancing measures. CMV has been working with the passengers of other nationalities onboard Columbus and their respective embassies to ensure their safe onward travel home.

CEO at CMV, Christian Verhounig, said: “We are tremendously proud of our onboard and shoreside teams for their fantastic job organising this repatriation voyage to bring our passengers home.

“On behalf of the directors, staff and especially our hard-working crew, CMV would like to thank all of our passengers for their support, patience and understanding at this time.”

CMV Columbus‘ return to the UK follows a day after P&O Cruises’ Arcadia, which sailed into Southampton on Easter Sunday from a repatriation voyage.

Last week, CLIA confirmed that there were seven remaining member cruise ships at sea, which included Columbus and Arcadia. The remaining ships left to return to their homeports include Cunard’s Queen Mary 2; Aurora Expeditions’ Greg Mortimer; MSC Cruises’ MSC Magnifica; Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess; and Costa Cruises’ Costa Deliziosa.

All other CMV cruise ships have returned to their home ports except Vasco da Gama, which is returning to London Tilbury with no passengers on board, on 30 April.

Visit for the latest coronavirus travel updates.

Sign In

Lost your password?