Coronavirus: Obese cruise passenger unable to fly home to sail from Australia to Germany

Coronavirus: 16 passengers on the Artania are allegedly too obese to fit in a plane seat (Image: Getty Images )

Cruise ship the Artania arrived in Fremantle in Australia on Friday and 800 European passengers were flown home. MV Artania is a cruise ship chartered since 2011 by Phoenix Reisen, a German-based travel agency and cruise ship operator. Australian newspaper The West has reported that 16 passengers will be remaining onboard, in the latest cruise news.

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This is allegedly due to obesity and being unable to fit in a plane seat.

Phoenix Reisen did not reveal the reasons for 15 of the passenger deciding to remain onboard but confirmed to Express.co.uk that one was too obese.

Phoenix Reisen said in a statement: “16 travelers also decided to stay with the crew on board MS Artania under the care of Captain Morten Hansen and cruise director Klaus Gruschka.”

They added that “the nautical crew will remain on board with a reduced service crew.”

MailOnline reported that the crew are mostly from Asian countries including Indonesia and the Philippines.

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Coronavirus: “The nautical crew will remain on board with a reduced service crew” (Image: Getty Images)

Seven people tested positive for coronavirus onboard the Artania, Phoenix Reisen said, after Australian health authorities onboard MS Artania tested passengers and crew members for Covid 19 due to cold symptoms.

On Sunday, passengers and crew were flown from Perth to Frankfurt.

Guests were only allowed to take “one piece of hand luggage weighing seven kilograms,” said the cruise company.

“The additional luggage will be delivered to the guests as soon as the organization between the authorities, the shipping company and Phoenix Reisen has been completed.”

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The company’s statement continued: “The total number of people who have been positively tested by the Australian health authorities over the past few days is 36.

“These people, 23 guests and 13 crew members, have been placed in Australian hospitals in a fortnightly quarantine. Phoenix Reisen will organize the return trip of the guests in coordination with the Federal Foreign Office, the German Embassy and the Australian authorities.”

They added: “The ship and the remaining crew are still in Fremantle.

“The shipping company is in contact with the Australian authorities and the embassies of Indonesia and the Philippines to arrange a special flight departure for the crew.”

Coronavirus: Cruise passengers transfer to buses to head to the airport to return home (Image: Getty Images)

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The Australian Border Force wrote to the ship’s management on Sunday ordering the Artania to leave Australian waters as soon as possible.

However, the vessel wants to stay put until April 15 so the ships can be cleaned and any further crew or passengers who have coronavirus can be identified before the Artania sails back to Hamburg in Germany.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said: “I’d urge the Australian Border Force to get the ship on its way.”

“I think the Federal Government needs to step up here. If the ship needs to be cleaned, well, clean it and then get it on its way.”

Trending Coronavirus: Passengers from the Artania cruise ship walk from buses on the tarmac at Perth airport (Image: Getty Images)

Federal Attorney General Christian Porter told radio 6PR: “The vessel is the subject of an order to leave. They don’t have to do that tonight but they are subject to an order to leave.’

“My information is that there are still 12 passengers on board, some of whom… cannot get into a plane.

“Passengers who are too unwell to fly, and the crew, will have to go home in the boat, back I presume to Germany.

“We’ve got a responsibility for those passengers to ensure the Western Australian health system gives them the available attention to ensure that they don’t, let me put this bluntly, don’t die on the voyage home because they’ve not received the proper attention before that voyage commences.”