Crew epidemic interrupts German New Year cruise to Lisbon.

A cruise ship operated by a German line and carrying more than 4,000 people has been detained in Lisbon after an outbreak of Covid-19 among its crew.

The AIDAnova docked in Lisbon on December 29 and was due to sail a day later to Madeira Island, in time to witness a New Year’s fireworks display in the port of Funchal, the main city of the island. . But his departure was canceled and passengers started the year on mainland Portugal instead after 52 crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.

The 52 crew members were disembarked and isolated in various hotels in Lisbon. All have been vaccinated and none have serious symptoms.

The ship arrived in Lisbon with a crew of 1,353 and 2,844 passengers, mostly Germans, Lisbon port manager Diogo Vieira Branco told Lusa, the Portuguese national news agency. The passengers were allowed to disembark in Lisbon.

AIDA Cruises, the ship’s German operator, could not be reached immediately for comment. But the line told German news agency DPA it was trying to find new crew members before deciding if it could resume its route.

The ship was to sail alongside the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa. Earlier in December, another German operator, Tui, was forced to cut short a trip due to a coronavirus outbreak on one of its ships, the Mein Schiff 4, which had docked in Las Palmas, the most large city in the Canary Islands.

Registered in Italy, the AIDAnova was launched in 2018 as the world’s first cruise ship powered entirely by liquefied natural gas. On its website, AIDA Cruises specifies that all passengers must be tested for coronavirus before boarding and that additional tests may be required depending on the cruise.

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