princess cruise

This is what the evacuation of the Canadians from the Grand Princess cruise ship looked like

The 237 Canadians on an ill-fated cruise ship that was prevented from docking for five days due to at least 20 confirmed cases of coronavirus aboard have been evacuated from their floating nightmare.

Canada's ministers of Foreign Affairs, Health and National Defence announced on Sunday that the country would be repatriating all Canadian citizens aboard the Grand Princess off the shore of San Francisco.

As promised, the federal government helped all 237 Canadians disembark in Oakland, California on Monday.

All of the roughly 3,500 passengers aboard the ship are expected to be released by Tuesday evening as their various home countries repatriate them and U.S. health officials take those who require medical care to local hospitals.

American residents who are found to be healthy will be held for a 14-day isolation period at military bases in California, Texas and Georgia.

Canada's Grand Princess cruise ship passenger, the first group of people to be evacuated after the 21 coronavirus patients, emerged from the ship to find members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Public Health Agency officials, Canada Border Service Agency members and what foreign affairs minister François-Philippe Champagne called "five standing rapid deployment team members" waiting for them.

The passengers were processed outside the ship at Canadian government-branded tents with the intention of bringing them all from San Francisco to the Canadian Forces base in Trenton, Ont., for a 14-day-long quarantine.

Passengers were screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before boarding the plane to Trenton, according to a government release.

It is not yet known if any tested positive for the virus, but the government did say on Sunday that anyone exhibiting symptoms would not be permitted to board the plane and that they would "be further assessed to determine next steps."

Champagne confirmed that 228 Canadians were aboard the plane when it landed in Trenton this morning and that a handful of Canadian crew members had tested positive for the virus.

Several passengers were left behind for what the Canadian Press described as "medical reasons unrelated to the virus."

All of the Grand Princess passengers at CFB Trenton will be quarantined for a period of 14 days before they are released back to their homes and lives.

Lead photo by

Mark Gerretsen

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