March 16, 2020 – sailing from Punta Arenas, Chile
There appears to be some progress this morning, since Chile has issued us entry visas after we have our temperatures taken and answer yet another health questionnaire. We also receive our passports, which the ship’s office has kept on file for this voyage to facilitate port clearances. Although we are still not alongside the dock, this is a very encouraging step to enable us to disembark in time to catch our flight to Santiago on Wednesday afternoon.
The Captain reports to us this morning that the Dutch embassy and US consulate are applying maximum pressure to get us alongside. He thanks us for our patience and cooperation, and he is hopeful we will tie up at the dock today.
Apparently there are 11 more ships heading to Punta Arenas, and we have already spotted a few more anchored in our area, so it is going to be a busy time for this town in the next while! Of course, that all depends on getting passengers and crew ashore.
Late this afternoon, the captain announces that Chile has closed all borders and imposed a 14-day quarantine on our ship. He states we will depart immediately and head north for San Antonio or Valparaiso, where the ship will have a service and provisioning call. He states that we will eventually disembark “well past Chile”, whatever that means. Most passengers agree that we will now proceed to our original destination, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The captain doesn’t waste any time getting underway by dinner time (see banner image above). A couple of hours later, we are almost through the Strait of Magellan as the sun sets, and turn north to wind through the Chilean fjords, which will give us some spectacular scenery to enjoy tomorrow!