Other passengers and crew undergoing COVID19 testing

By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva

It was looking like a good time to resume sailing in French Polynesia. Coronavirus cases are down there and the borders open to international travelers–with restrictions.  But suddenly  COVID19 rears its ugly head on the Paul GauguinPaul Gauguin resumes cruises .  Thankfully so far only one person is positive. Early detection may prevent a major outbreak.

The victim is a 22-year-old female passenger traveling with her mother.  She, along with all other passengers and crew are now under  quarantine in Papeete, Tahiti.

Strictly enforced COVID19 guidelines

Tahiti and the Paul Gauguin enforce strict pre-entry and pre-boarding testing. The passenger who tested positive received negative results prior to leaving the US and before boarding  the ship. But an onboard COVID19 test came out positive. She is also asymptomatic according to Paul Gauguin spokespersons.

The 332-passenger luxury ship was on it’s first voyage since the cruise-pause. The ship is now in its home-base of Papeete.

According to the High Commission of the French Republic in French Polynesia, all other passengers and crew are now isolated in cabins onboard the ship awaiting test results.

The line says that the abundance of  negative test results on all the other passengers confirms the quality of the health protocols in force on board.” Crew members will remain in quarantine onboard for seven days and all passengers and crew who have been onboard will be retested within seven days, the line said.

It was Ponant’s first cruise with international travelers

Ponant began sailing the Paul Gauguin for residents of French Polynesia on July 18. They took on international travelers on July 29 following  health and safety protocols that include having to be tested for Covid-19 prior to boarding.

Protocols  on the ship follow guidelines from infectious disease specialists from Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire Mediterranee Infection of Marseilles in France and the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseilles.

Last month crew members on Hurtingruten’s  Roald Amundsen came down with COVID19 causing cancellations of its expedition cruises. An additional outbreak occurred on Costa’s Crociere.

More recently  a passenger on an UnCruise Adventures Alaska cruise tested positive for the virus.  The line  was following all the proper protocols but because of this one incident had to cancel the rest of the 2020 Alaska season.

You might say the cruise industry is testing the waters. At least these are mild cases. The implementation of strict sanitation and safety measures seems to be working to control any spread.

By the end of the year and into 2021 cruising should be safer than ever.  And Pavlus is ready to book your cruise or tour at the best prices on the planet.


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