Malaysian cruise ship duo returning on Saturday


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Apr 2020

GEORGE TOWN: Two Malaysian crew members on board MS Amadea Phoenix Reisen will finally get to return home.

They have been holed up on the cruise ship for more than a month due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Izwan Hilmy, 39, and Rizal Baseri, 29, are expected to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 3pm on Saturday.

They are still on board the cruise ship currently docked at its port of registry in Bremerhaven, Bremen, Germany.

“Never mind the 14-day quarantine. I just want to be home. Our flight will depart from Hamburg to Frankfurt before we take another flight to Doha, Qatar, and on to KLIA.

“Our company has made all the necessary flight arrangement, including the transfer from the cruise ship to the airport,” said Izwan, who is from Kepala Batas, Penang.

It was earlier reported that despite the global pandemic, the vessel left San Francisco on March 2 for its world cruise tour programme, which was supposed to end in Miami on March 27.

However, it had to sail to Bremerhaven after it was not allowed to dock at several ports in the United States.

The vessel was allowed to refuel before passing through the Panama Canal. It then sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Germany.

Izwan said he was in constant contact with a representative from the Malaysian Embassy in Berlin.

“The representative is always on the lookout for any Malaysian stranded in Germany.

“They have been updating us on the latest situation and always asking whether we needed anything,” he said.

Izwan said he and other crew members were still on duty and carrying on with their life as usual on board the ship.

He, however, expressed sympathy for fellow crew members from other countries such as South Africa, India, Honduras and Bulgaria, who could not return home as the borders of their countries had been closed.

“I feel lucky that I can go home and see my family soon,” he said, adding that he and Rizal would be quarantined at a hotel near the airport for 14 days upon arrival at KLIA.

When contacted, Izwan’s mother Kamariah Yusof said her prayers had been answered and she could not wait to see him.

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