As COVID-19 gripped the world, a cruise ship became the last place on earth untouched by the virus.
TheCosta Deliziosaset sail from Venice in early January and has now been travelling for 15 weeks while the new coronavirus spread.Deliziosastopped making ports of call after leaving western Australia last month, sailing the last five weeks in a virus-free bubble, with virtually no human contact with the outside world.
Unlike other cruise ships that have suffered coronavirus outbreaks and were often put in quarantine to protect port cities, theDeliziosafound no coronavirus cases onboard, says owner Costa Crociere, an Italian company.
So the ship's 1,831 passengers were free to use the ship's facilities and entertainment throughout the long journey.
On Monday,Deliziosabegan to disembark passengers in Barcelona, marking the beginning of the end of the around-the-globe cruise.
The ship has turned into somewhat of a safe haven for passengers.
Spanish traveller Carlos Payá told the Associated Press it was a "stroke of good luck" to be on the global cruise during the pandemic.
And an Italian passenger named Flavia told The Daily Beast by Twitter message that, I want to stay on the ship, it is much safer here. Imagine stepping onto land after being so safe and getting the virus right away! We have all asked if we could just stay on the ship.”
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.