World cruise that set sail pre-pandemic docks in Spain 15 weeks later
BARCELONA, SPAIN -- Some passengers from a luxury cruise ship that travelled the globe for 15 weeks while the new coronavirus spread on land have started to disembark in northeastern Spain.
Monday's port-of-call in Barcelona marks the beginning of the end of the around-the-globe cruise of the Costa Deliziosa, whose owner Costa Crociere, an Italian company, says has no cases of the COVID-19 virus on board.
The boat sailed the last five weeks with virtually no human contact with the outside world.
Hundreds of the boat's 1,831 passengers, including 168 Spaniards, were expected to get off the boat in Spain and the rest were expected to do so in the next and last stop, in Genoa, Italy. The Deliziosa was originally due to return to Venice on April 26.
Unlike other cruise ships that suffered outbreaks and were often put in quarantine to protect port cities, the Deliziosa has been virtually a floating virus-free bubble, allowing the passengers to use the ship's facilities and entertainments.
Spanish traveller Carlos Paya told The Associated Press that being on the cruise ship was "a stroke of good luck."
The ship set sail from Venice in early January and stopped making ports of call after leaving western Australia last month, except for technical refuelling stops.