Polar class vessel Crystal Endeavor departed from Ushuaia, the southernmost tip of Argentina on her first-ever expedition voyage to Antarctica, after receiving the epidemiological clearance from local sanitary authorities on Wednesday.
There was a minor delay because two members of the 213 crew tested PCR positive and the vessel had to undergo a disinfection process. Passengers who arrived by air on Wednesday were then allowed to board the vessel.
Ushuaia port sanitary chief Juan Petrina said the crewmember who tested positive and his contact were confined under quarantine in a local hotel while the rest of the crew will continue with the vessel on its Antarctic tour.
This weekend when the crewmember completes his ten days of confinement he will be discharged, added Petrina since the crew member was already under that condition on board the cruise vessel.
He is in good shape with very light symptoms, and what is most important protocols worked correctly and we can thus inform locals that the sanitary procedure has proven to be efficient.
Ushuaia port authorities revealed that two Australians boarded the vessel in Panama contracted to complete some last-minute fixes and on the 9th, one of them started to show symptoms, so he was immediately isolated together with his contacts on board.
Under maritime protocols all had their vaccine certificates in order, so again all protocols on board and on land functioned as expected, Petrina pointed out.
Once the Australians were sent to a local hotel to complete confinement, the vessel was disinfected, given clearance and the 200 passengers allowed to embark, while the 21 crewmembers involved in preparing the vessel for the journey, returned to their countries of origin with the first leg in the charter that flew passengers to Ushuaia.
Again both the vessel has proven to be well prepared for such situations with the correct protocols, and so is Ushuaia, pointed out Petrina.
Crystal Endeavor is operating for the first time from Ushuaia and has eight Antarctica round tours programmed. She should be back at the end of the month.
“Exploring Antarctica is an unforgettable, life-changing experience and we encourage our guests to join us as we set a new standard in luxury expedition cruising,” Crystal president Jack Anderson said.
Guests’ journey of rugged adventure includes the crossing of famed Drake Passage and visits to the South Shetland Islands, the Weddell Sea, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia, as well as ample time exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, home to penguin colonies, seals, whales and seabirds.
Anderson said that guests on Crystal Endeavor’s Antarctica voyages enjoy complimentary round-trip charter air and luxury pre-cruise accommodations in Ushuaia as well as luxury hotel accommodations in Miami following their return flight”.
Crystal Endeavor’s Antarctica season runs through February 2022, with all voyages led by a talented and passionate expedition team. Following the completion of her Antarctica season, Crystal Endeavor will sail to Cape Town to continue her luxury yacht expedition adventure.