Foreign cruise operators rehire Filipino sailors

Mein Schiff 2 departed from Hamburg with 1,200 guests aboard in late July. | Photo courtesy of Cruise Industry News

THOUSANDS of Filipino seafarers are bound for European and Mediterranean itineraries as foreign cruise operators begin to rehire them.

As reported by the Philippine Star, migration and recruitment consultant Manny Geslani noted that several cruise companies such as TUI Cruises, a German company in which Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) holds a stake; Hurtigruten, a private company based in Norway; and Hong Kong-based Genting Cruise Lines have already relaunched.

An RCL spokesman also confirmed that the TUI vessel Mein Schiff 2 carrying 1,200 people departed Hamburg for a short cruise on July 24. Only the balcony suites were available.

Meanwhile, Carnival expressed hope that it can resume cruises by September 6 out of Hamburg, Germany with AIDA Cruises’ AIDAPerla.

Costa Cruises’ Deliziosa, a European cruise line owned by Carnival, will start sailing again around Italian ports by the first week of September 6 with only 50% capacity. It will also be limited to Italian citizens.

Ports in the United States remain closed until September 30 as ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some cruise lines have suspended sailing beyond that date. These include Carnival’ Princess Cruises, as well as RCL and Norwegian Lines — both of which set their cruises after October 31.

The newspaper also said the bulk of over 50,000 repatriated Filipino cruise ship crews may have to wait a few more months before Carnival, RCL, and Norwegian Lines resume operations after September.

These three cruise operators comprise 70 percent of the cruise ships all over the world, making them the world’s largest cruise operators.

Filipino sailors hope more of them would be recalled as cruises resume itineraries in Europe, the Star report added.

“Filipino seafarers are still hoping that as cruises start in Europe, more cruise lines will recall the Filipino crews which comprise a third of a cruise ship’s crew complement. That number can range anywhere from 500 to 800 overseas Filipino workers,” the article read.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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