Finally a month after passengers were rescued and medically evacuated to Australia from Uruguay, the 89 crew which remained trapped in the coronavirus infested “Greg Mortimer” cruise have started their long return home.
The last cruise of “Greg Mortimer” when it left Ushuaia on March 15th was an invitation to disaster, and now “we are asking for a humanitarian corridor to take us, as they did with passengers, to our home countries”, said Mauricio Usme, chief medical officer on board the Aurora Expeditions vessel.
The 2019/20 tourist season is likely to be remembered as, “the one that fell off the cliff in March,” summed up Falkland Islands Tourist Board Executive Director Steph Middleton this week. But despite the impact of the pandemic it wasn’t all bad up until then confirmed, Mrs. Middleton and other industry members.
After the departure from Montevideo of the last medical flight with passengers of the stranded Antarctic cruise Greg Mortimer, the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, sent a letter to Uruguay’s President, Luis Lacalle Pou, acknowledging the action of his government for its collaboration with Australian citizens.
The final leg of the humanitarian repatriation of passengers on board an Antarctic cruise, stranded in Uruguay and most of them testing positive for coronavirus, ended Wednesday afternoon when they boarded in Uruguay's Carrasco international airport a sanitary charter to Miami.
The Uruguayan government announced on Tuesday that it will evacuate the remaining passengers on the Antarctic cruise ship Greg Mortimer through a second humanitarian corridor. There will be about 15 passengers who have remained in the ship anchored in front of the port of Montevideo, where there are people with the COVID-19 disease.
The last passengers residing on an Australian ocean liner, anchored off Montevideo for more than two weeks with cases of COVID-19 on board, will be evacuated to the United States by a medical chartered flight, announced on Tuesday the American embassy in Uruguay.
With a large improvised banner reading “Gracias Uruguay” (Thank you Uruguay) on starboard the COVID-19 infected “Greg Mortimer” finally docked in the port of Montevideo on Friday and at 22:00 Uruguay hour started the medical evacuation of over a hundred cruisers from Australia and New Zealand who are to be charter flown to Melbourne, and expected to arrive on Easter Sunday.
The sanitary charter aircraft contracted to repatriate Australians on board the coronavirus infected “Greg Mortimer” cruise, stranded off the Uruguayan coast is expected this Thursday in Montevideo, and will be flying to Melbourne on Saturday according to foreign ministry sources.
A charter flight is expected in Montevideo on Thursday, April 9 to pick up and fly home to Australia most of passengers and crew on the “Greg Mortimer”, the cruise vessel stranded off the coast of Uruguay for the last two weeks because 128 people on board have tested positive for Covid 19.