14 Apr 2020

Cruise ship finds sanctuary in New Caledonian waters

3:14 pm on 14 April 2020

The French cruise ship Le Laperouse has anchored off New Caledonia after abandoning its 11-day voyage in New Zealand because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Le Laperouse

The Le Laperouse Photo: Ponant

The ship offloaded its passengers in Wellington a month ago as concern mounted that they would have trouble finding flights back to their home countries.

The owners of the luxury vessel decided against staying in New Zealand waters and have been allowed by the New Caledonian government and the French High Commission to sail into waters off Noumea.

TV reports said the crew of 92 had to stay on board for two weeks, which matched the conditions of self-isolation imposed on returning New Caledonian residents.

There was no Covid-19 carrier on the ship.

In New Caledonia, there have been 18 positive Covid-19 tests, but none for more than a week.

The location of the Le Laperouse

The location of the Le Laperouse Photo: Ponant