217 Filipino seafarers to test the waters in new German cruise ship assignment

Published July 26, 2020, 7:51 PM

by Roy Mabasa

A total of 217 newly hired Filipino seafarers will join the short-term cruises onboard a German cruise ship that is set to sail for the first time in the European waters since the industry was shut down due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. 
The Filipinos arrived on July 22, 2020 at the Rostock Airport in Germany from Manila on board a chartered flight arranged by German cruise operator AIDA Cruises, to commence preparations for the summer cruise season. 
According to the Philippine Embassy in Germany, all the Filipino seafarers are experienced crew members and will undergo further training in new health and safety requirements and procedures being implemented in the European cruise industry.
The Filipinos were welcomed at Rostock by AIDA Cruises officials, Philippine Ambassador to Germany Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Consul Marie Chris Chieng, and Labor Attaché Delmer Cruz. 
The seafarers will form part of the teams on three major AIDA cruise vessels, the AIDA Blu, AIDA Mar, and AIDA Pearl. The vessels will be operating out of Rostock and Hamburg ports on shorter-term cruises as the maritime industry begins its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
In compliance with protocols and new regulations, the crew will be trained in the new safety and health measures onboard cruise vessels while AIDA Cruises will provide additional safety measures, facilities, and equipment for the crew.
As a result of the outbreak, thousands of Filipino seafarers have been displaced from their jobs and around 44,000 have so far been repatriated back to the Philippines in the last six months.