Cruise ship that tied up in Eastport to wait out the pandemic to depart for Europe

Cruise ship that tied up in Eastport to wait out the pandemic to depart for Europe


The cruise ship Riviera, which arrived in Eastport last month without any passengers so it could wait out the COVID pandemic while tied up to the city’s pier, is expected to leave Eastport this weekend and head to Europe.

The 785-foot ship arrived in Eastport on June 14 with only a small crew and has been waiting there for word from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on when the industry can resume carrying passengers. The CDC issued a no-sail order for the industry in mid-March — and has extended it to run through the end of September — banning cruise ships from carrying paid passengers because of concerns about how the disease spread on the ships in the early part of the year.

Oceania Cruises, which owns and operates Riviera, won’t say why it is leaving, but according to a local official, the ship is sailing to Europe so it can switch out the crew members who live on and maintain the ship.

Without going into detail, Chris Gardner, executive director of the Eastport Port Authority, said cruise ships face more coronavirus-related restrictions in the U.S. than they do in Europe, and that it will be easier for the cruise company to fly the Riviera’s current crew back to their respective home countries from Europe than it is to do from here.



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