PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):---The cruise ship Braemar of Fred Olsen cruise line, arrived at Port St. Maarten on Sunday and the turnaround operation has commenced. A turnaround entails when one set of passengers departs the ship and another set embarks.
Passengers from the vessel are in the process of being transported to the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM Airport) where they will board charter flights at around 8.00 pm.
This is a collaborative operation between Port St. Maarten and SXM Airport in close consultation with the Department of Civil Aviation, Customs, Police and SXM Airport Operations.
The 500+ disembarking passengers will be cleared in and out by Immigration at Port St. Maarten. The passenger’s luggage will also be screened at the Port St. Maarten Homeporting facilities with oversight by personnel from SXM Airport Security and Customs.
Once the screening process has been concluded, the passengers will be bussed with Police escort to SXM Airport directly to the aircraft on the tarmac, thereby bypassing the terminal building.
The turnaround operations commenced at around 4.30 pm on Sunday afternoon. During the course of the day, the Collective Prevention Services Department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) received the updated health declarations from the ship's doctors and they were in good order.
As part of the turnaround, cruise passengers – who are mainly from the United Kingdom - would arrive at SXM Airport on chartered flights from La Romana, Dominican Republic and then transported directly to Port St. Maarten Homeporting Facility. Prior to boarding the vessel, the embarking passengers will go through the same security and immigration procedures before boarding the Braemar for their two-week cruise.
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said on Sunday that this is a healthy ship with zero cases of the coronavirus COVID-19, and even though during the cruise some passengers experienced flu-like symptoms, everybody has been cleared for travel back to the United Kingdom with the exception of one passenger who has gastroenteritis and who will remain on the island at the St. Maarten Medical Center until they are well to travel.
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