March 13, 2020 – day at sea from Falkland Islands to Strait of Magellan
I go for breakfast in the main dining room this morning. I am the last to join the table, but the other four people wait for about an hour for service. One couple is from Sydney, Australia, and are veteran cruisers. The other couple are from Burlington/Toronto area.
Captain’s noon report:
- He will immediately notify us of any changes caused by coronavirus that will impact our cruise
- Princess Cruises is suspending operations for two months
- Our position: 52° 40’S 65° 16’ W
- Arrive at pilot station at 9:30pm
- Punta Arenas – 5:00am arrival
- Lots of currents in the Strait of Magellan, so navigation will be challenging
- Tomorrow’s weather: cloudy, some showers, cool
Everyone aboard has filled out a health questionnaire for the Chilean government, so hopefully we are clear to enjoy the numerous ports-of-call in that country. From my perspective, we have been on the ship for a week, and everyone appears to be healthy, so I’m inclined to stay on the ship and complete the cruise. I have confidence that Holland America will take care of everyone as best they can, no matter what situation might develop. Despite being anxious, I refuse to succumb to fear, and I detect the same attitude among most of my fellow passengers, including my travel companion.
As I walk circuits on the Promenade Deck this morning, we are currently sailing through thick fog. The ship’s horn is sounding every couple of minutes, making our voyage feel particularly “nautical”. Later in the afternoon, the skies clear, and we have remarkably calm seas as we approach the Strait of Magellan.
I have a cappuccino and a brownie in the Exploration Lounge just after noon, and find a recliner to sit in. I strike up a conversation with the man sitting beside me about the coronavirus and how it might affect our cruise. Like us, he is sailing all the way to Fort Lauderdale. He is also taking a wait-and-see approach, and trying to remain calm. He lives about 800 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, so he isn’t concerned about getting back home, but the uncertainty of our cruise completing as originally planned is obviously on everyones’ mind.
I go to see the live show this evening in Main Stage: the cello-playing Polish duo Celli and an illusionist who starts the show with a few card tricks. Neither act are too terrific compared with their previous performances. I go outside on deck to see the stars under a clear sky.