Canadians cruise ship

More than 300 Canadians are still stranded on cruise ships

Being stranded on a cruise ship during a pandemic might sound like a fun adventure to some, but in reality it's become a serious problem for many Canadian crew members still trying to get home.

And there's currently more than 300 of them hoping to do so while remaining stranded aboard cruise ships docked or sailing around the world, according to Global Affairs Canada.

One of them, Will Lees of Vancouver, told CBC that he's been stuck aboard the Norwegian Epic cruise ship since mid-March.

Lees was hired as a crew member for the ship and said that while many passengers were allowed to disembark, crew have had to remain aboard the ship due to strict health and safety regulations.

His ship was finally able to dock in Miami last week, but he and other crew have not been able to leave until operators meet certain requirements, like arranging for private transport to the airport and chartered flights back to their respective countries.

Lees is one of many Canadian crew members unsure when they will be able to return home as several ship operators ceased operations nearly two months ago.

Global Affairs says it's currently tracking 98 ships with an estimated 318 Canadian crew members on board.

Lead photo by

Kathy Domboski


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