A German cruise ship by AIDA cruise operators, set to sail for a short-term cruise has hired 217 Filipino seafarers onboard. This stands as a first for European waters since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.
To set in motion the preparations for their summer cruise season, a charter flight had been arranged by AIDA operators to fly the Filipinos from Manila to the Rostock Airport, Germany. They arrived on July 22d, 2020.
Their arrival was marked by the attendance of Philippine ambassador to Germany Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Labor Attache Delmer Cruz, Consul Marie Chris Chieng, and the AIDA officials at the airport.
The experienced Filipino seafarers will undergo training as per the health and safety compliance regulations in the European cruise industry. In addition to their orientation on health measures on the ship, AIDA cruises will enforce and provide safety measures, added facilities, and equipment for the crew to stay in line with the protocols.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the displacement of jobs and left thousands of Filipinos stranded onboard ships. About 44,000 of them have now been repatriated safely in the last few months.
The hired crew are to form teams on 3 vessels of the AIDA which will be sailing out of Rostock and Hamburg ports for short-term cruises as an effort to rise above the hiatus caused due to the pandemic. The seafarers are to operate on the AIDA Blu, AIDA Mar, and the AIDA pearl.
The German cruise line had previously announced on 9th July 2020 that it would resume operations on 3 of its vessels, staying compliance with the new hygiene and safety protocols.
The Philippine ambassador wished the arriving crew a productive and safe tenure onboard.