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First guests from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship Braemar arrive back into UK at London’s Heathrow Airport

News   •   Mar 19, 2020 10:56 GMT

The first guests from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship Braemar have begun arriving back into the UK at London’s Heathrow Airport.

All 682 guests disembarked the ship in the Port of Mariel, Havana, last night on four flights. Three of these were under charter to British Airways, all flying into London Heathrow Terminal 5. The last of these flights is due to land at approximately 11.15 UK time.

A fourth flight for guests who have received a positive diagnosis for coronavirus, or have displayed any flu-like symptoms, plus their companions, will arrive at MoD Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. This flight was secured in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Guests received Fred. Olsen care packages as they landed into Heathrow, which included long-life milk, teabags, biscuits and fruit to help guests to stock their cupboards and to provide refreshments for their onward journeys home.

We would like to thank a number of businesses, with whom we work with closely, for providing items for these care packages, including Cavendish Ships Stores, KETTLE® Chips, McVitie’s, Metcalfe’s® Snacks, Stokes and Twinings of London.

Costa Coffee at Heathrow Airport also provided additional water, crisps and biscuits for guests upon arrival. 

Care packages were also delivered to a dedicated meeting point for guests who were on the separate flight into MoD Boscombe Down.

Peter Deer, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“I would like to thank all of our guests for their patience as we worked around the clock to get them back to the UK. We know that at times this was a frustrating process, and it was not the way they, or we, had anticipated the end to their holiday.

“As we have already seen in the Caribbean, the world, including the UK, has become a very different place over the past few weeks. I hope this small gesture of a care package goes some way to showing our thanks to them all in what has become a very challenging and unprecedented time.

“Once again, I would like to extend my thanks, on behalf of us all on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, for those who have worked so hard to get our guests home, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Airways and their cabin crew, the Cuban Authorities and the Port of Mariel, the Department for Transport, the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Health and Social Care.”

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has set up a dedicated Braemar Relative Support Team, which will be open until 16.00 today. Relatives can reach this team by calling +44 (0) 1473 292350.

On Tuesday, 10th March, one guest and four crew members received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. One further guest, who provided an inconclusive result, was later confirmed to be positive. As a result, Braemar failed to receive clearance to disembark guests in Barbados on Thursday, 12th March.

Braemar spent three days in safe haven in The Bahamas, before Cuban Authorities granted permission for guests to return to the UK by air from Havana.

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