Idle cruise ship to dock at Port of Fernandina tomorrow for 2-3 months

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 6, 2020

The Seven Seas Explorer is scheduled to dock at the Port of Fernandina tomorrow morning, May 7, 2020, around 10:00 a.m.  The 735- foot long ship is expected to remain docked at the Port for 2-3 months, as the cruise industry tries to address the need to “dead park” its vessels in safe locations.  There are no passengers on board.  The crew which has been reduced to 120, must remain on board unless U.S. Customs and Border Control gives permission for individuals to depart to fly home.  The ship will be resupplied through the Port of Fernandina.

Due to health and customs concerns, the public will not be allowed to visit the ship, which may be viewed in some detail  on the Regent Seven Seas Cruises website.

Christopher Ragucci, President and CEO of World Wide Terminals – Fernandina, explained that cruise lines are seeking ports to lay berth ships that have been idled by the Coronavirus pandemic.  He said that at this time 6-7 cruise ships are anchored off Port Canaveral because there are insufficient berthing facilities.  The Seven Seas Explorer has been one of those ships.  He said that the Port of Fernandina can only handle one cruise ship while still maintaining normal operations.  Ragucci said that the Port has continued to operate during the pandemic, even though traffic has been reduced.  Port employees have remained on the job.

The Seven Seas Explorer entered service in 2016. It is one of five luxury cruise ships operated by Regent Seven Sea Cruises.  With headquarters in Miami, Regent Seven Seas Cruises® is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a diversified cruise operator of leading global cruise lines Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises®.

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Bill Owen
Bill Owen (@guest_57558)
3 years ago

We just returned from the Amelia River Cruise tour to Beech Creek on Cumberland Island, and saw this ship anchored off the coast. Interesting to return and find this article stating that it will be laid up for a few months at the port here.

And if I may offer a suggestion for those who are looking to help the local businesses, please consider booking one of these great Amelia River Cruises! They have never disappointed; no matter how many times we’ve taken them there is always something new and interesting to see!

Perry Anthony
Perry Anthony (@guest_57590)
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Owen

Hey Bill, this is not the place to push river cruises, as it has nothing to do with the article.

Nicholas Velvet
Nicholas Velvet (@guest_57560)
3 years ago

Remember in years to come that you read it first here in The Observer…..First Cruze ship to dock at Fernandina Beach May 7,2020. If it fits, it ships! All you folks up in arms about social distancing of us Pesky Seniors walking on the beach?….and literally in the back door comes a 700 room plus ship but hey, it only has 120 potential carriers(ups I meant crew) that oh…..will not be let off but to “fly away” . I guess the good news is The Beach Patrol Dune Police Buggies can now become Port Patrol Boarding Police. “it’s only docking because of an emergency” Remember the old additage “give an inch~~take a mile” Don’t believe this? I have a wonderful Fairytale for you to read.

chuck hall
chuck hall (@guest_57561)
3 years ago

dang that is one big ship!

DANIEL BRUBECK (@guest_57563)
3 years ago

Is the “Port of Fernandina” the same as the Marina? If it is elsewhere, where is it?

chuck hall
chuck hall (@guest_57564)
3 years ago

Port is 3 blocks North of the Marina.

Peter Usher
Peter Usher (@guest_57565)
3 years ago

I trust the City, County, or Port — or all three — are being WELL PAID for this one-time inconvenience. No free parking. We all recognize we’re living through a global emergency, but it must not be allowed to become a harbinger of the future. No large cruise ships in Fernandina’s future.

Teri D. Springer
Teri D. Springer (@guest_57617)
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Usher

The port is privately owned so neither the city nor the county will be paid anything.

Teri D. Springer
Teri D. Springer (@guest_57568)
3 years ago

Is this bringing in income?? If so, YAY!!!

Betsie Huben
Betsie Huben(@betsie-huben)
3 years ago

While I am sure it may benefit the port’s bottom line to do this, gotta wonder as we approach hurricane season, what is the plan for this ship in the event of a storm? It is projected to be a busy year for storms based on Colorado’s models.

Stephanie Mitchell
Stephanie Mitchell (@guest_57635)
3 years ago

I read today where some of the crew members of these ships have went on hunger strikes wanting to go home after months on the ship and a few have jumped overboard. Why are they not allowed to return to their homes? It’s not like they can get off the ship here in Fernandina to visit.

Stephanie Mitchell
Stephanie Mitchell(@stephanie-mitchell)
3 years ago

I understand that they have to have at least 100 crew members onboard to keep it running. However, if some cruise ships are now overbooked after reopening, why are these crew member’s not allowed to return home? I’m sure they have been quarantined for a while and if it’s cleaned out well, they will have other’s in Florida willing to take their place working aboard to relieve other’s so they may return home. This feels like they are trapped onboard, I do not get it. I pray for their sanity, safety and that they may return home soon if this is their wish.