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I’m currently studying on a cruise ship with @SemesterAtSea for the semester abroad, sailing to Asia, Africa, and Europe. Here’s how #coronavirus (#COVIDー19) is impacting the students and faculty on board:
Our original itinerary started in Ensenada, Mexico, and was scheduled to port in Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and The Netherlands. On Jan. 24, our first day in Japan, we were informed our stop in China had been cancelled
The Institute for Shipboard Education informed us we would be bypassing China completely due to concerns of future ports barring us from entry. This was a fairly big blow to the shipboard community. We continued on to Vietnam, where we stayed for an extra six days.
#chinese nationals on board (six students) were informed they would not be allowed entry to Vietnam, and possibly other countries, regardless of the proof that they had been aboard the MV World Odyssey for more than two weeks, the incubation period for the virus.
Our first day back on the ship from Vietnam, students and faculty received an email regarding an itinerary change. We would be bypassing the other two stops in Asia completely, skipping Malaysia and India to go straight to Seychelles. This was an 11 day journey.
Yesterday, the port authority in Seychelles informed our captain that we will not be allowed to make port in their country. Instead, we will be making a fuel stop in Mauritius, not allowed to disembark. Our new port of call is Mozambique, on March 5, marking 19 days at sea.
No one is certain when (or if) we’ll be allowed off next. Mozambique could easily take away our porting privileges, just like Seychelles. Students and faculty are facing an uncertain -and uneasy- next two months. The voyage ends April 20. Until then, we’re stuck. Updates to come.
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