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Le Laperouse denied entry to NZ waters


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This is very interesting.  It sounds like the organisation bringing the ship in messed up the immigration applications.  I didn't realise it was being chartered.  It's worth watching the video.

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/covid-19-coronavirus-cruise-ship-le-laperouse-refused-entry-to-nz-waters/4DUKPGP4RIKHO6WBS2RALIOA2Y/

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It sounds like an immigration mess-up.  How dumb to only apply for visas a week ago and to just keep on coming.  What did they think was going to happen?

I would like to think that companies planning to cruise from Aus to NZ would be a bit better organised than that.

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45 minutes ago, onlyslightlymad said:

It sounds like an immigration mess-up.  How dumb to only apply for visas a week ago and to just keep on coming.  What did they think was going to happen?

I would like to think that companies planning to cruise from Aus to NZ would be a bit better organised than that.

The  ship is owned by a French-owned company Ponant. You've got say - arrogant French attitude really doesn't go down  around here (see Rainbow Warrior) . 

 

Interestingly Heritage cruises brought in their ship - Russian Flagged from Russia - and all Russian crew were admitted because they had the right visas. There have been  plenty of commercial and fishing crews in over the last few months too. 

 

They have been heavily advertising in my FB feed for several  weeks 

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Just now, lissie said:

The  ship is owned by a French-owned company Ponant. You've got say - arrogant French attitude really doesn't go down  around here (see Rainbow Warrior) . 

 

Interestingly Heritage cruises brought in their ship - Russian Flagged from Russia - and all Russian crew were admitted because they had the right visas. There have been  plenty of commercial and fishing crews in over the last few months too. 

 

They have been heavily advertising in my FB feed for several  weeks 

The people I feel sorry for are the ones who have bought tickets and the travel agents who are already struggling.  It seems to me that the culprits are the NZ company who chartered the ship.  Surely, they were organising visas.  But yes, I do feel a little sheepish in admitting that I did think of the Rainbow Warrior.

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The foreign fishing crews have been coming in ,but like everyone else they had to quarantine.

There may be some confusion as they could have thought that the trip down here qualified .🤔

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Actually it gets more interesting - the ship was chartered by Aaron Russ - he's the son of (and still involved with )  Heritage expeditions 

https://www.wildearth-travel.com/about/

https://www.heritage-expeditions.com/about/ 

 

The 2 companies share the same address in Chc too. 

 

There is no issue with isolation - they've been on the ship for much longer than 14 days. 

 

On the Heritage cruise we did recently tere were Russains doing jobs  like cleaning  and cooking - but they also have roles in terms of  life boat mustering etc. 

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It seems to me that the NZ government is playing hard-ball. The company applied for visas before they set sail, but they weren't all approved. Yes - they did the wrong thing by assuming that all would be OK. When crew members have been in quarantine on the ship while it has been sailing (27 days and four negative tests), is the government just making a point by not allowing the crew to stay and work on the ship. Obviously they would have to have a negative COVID test.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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54 minutes ago, Kiwi Kruzer said:

Evidently some of the crew have visas but the others who do not were not deemed as essential workers ,.???

Gets curiouser and curiouser,.

It appears that the cooks, bottle washers, waiters and hairdressers were not regarded as essential workers. On a cruise ship???  From reading the article it seems that the only essential workers were the ones required to operate the ship to get it to NZ waters.

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They are claiming the Hotel Workers are not essential ,but the cruise line says they are and cannot be replaced with NZ workers who would need to be trained.

If they had to be trained then surely they are essential

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There is another thread connected specifically to this voyage with some interesting commentary.  They commenter stated that the ship never applied to enter the country as a cruise ship but instead to do maintenance and refit like a super yacht.  Therefore it would make sense that visas were only available to those crew who were operating or involved in the refit.  I found this statement from the govt.

 

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO2101/S00117/inz-statement-on-cruise-ship-le-laperouse.htm

Edited by onlyslightlymad
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They didn't apply to bring in a cruise.  They applied for visas to have a ship delivered from overseas to a local business and for the purpose of maintenance and refit.  Visas were approved for the crew involved in the delivery, maintenance and refit.  The ship was chartered by a local business from Ponant.  It was not a Ponant cruise.  The local business applied to have the ship delivered to their business.  The maintenance, refit clause is the way the super yachts get in.  They gambled on slipping the service staff through and they lost.

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1 hour ago, onlyslightlymad said:

They didn't apply to bring in a cruise.  They applied for visas to have a ship delivered from overseas to a local business and for the purpose of maintenance and refit.  Visas were approved for the crew involved in the delivery, maintenance and refit.  The ship was chartered by a local business from Ponant.  It was not a Ponant cruise.  The local business applied to have the ship delivered to their business.  The maintenance, refit clause is the way the super yachts get in.  They gambled on slipping the service staff through and they lost.

Maybe the company gambled on slipping the service staff through, or maybe they made a mistake with the paperwork. If I was betting, I would place money on the latter scenario.

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You would think, with the amount of money involved Chartering the ship..... you would be   double checking all the ""i's & t's""

are dotted and crossed......  Particularly with Covid

 

Also the idea of crewing the ship with New Zealander"s is not that practical,  for a short term deployment...  

 

I feel for the people who booked.....

 

Don

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My first question to the company concerned would be  - Why did you apply for permission to deliver and refit the ship rather than apply to bring in a cruise ship?  I would guess the answer to that question would be that cruise ships aren't allowed to come into NZ at the moment but that permission could be gained to bring the ship in to be delivered to a NZ business.  So we have a NZ business operating a ship in NZ waters under NZ laws.  Not an international cruise company operating under a flag of convenience.  

No surprises then that only those workers essential to the delivery of the ship were allowed to come in.  As to the beauticians etc their visas would be to allow them to work for a NZ company.  Two problems with that - first we already have beauticians, bar tenders so no work visas to be gained there.  Second, presumably they would be subject to NZ labour laws.  I am speculating here.

I also feel sorry for those who have bought tickets.  When I investigated buying a ticket on this ship I believed it was a Ponant cruise.  It's a Ponant ship but it isn't a Ponant cruise.  

 

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Sounds like Ponant tried to con the nz govt. i checked marine traffic, le la perouse is heading nw to noumea. Not to nz. Maybe  going to dump the crew with no visas.

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22 hours ago, NSWP said:

Sounds like Ponant tried to con the nz govt. i checked marine traffic, le la perouse is heading nw to noumea. Not to nz. Maybe  going to dump the crew with no visas.

My wife and I are on screen "watching" Le LaPerouse heading past Noumea, and now being "held up" by a major cyclonic storm (due on Wednesday 3rd February, but petering out near Noumea).    As booked passengers on the ship (from AKL in one week's time, on the 8th) we suspect that Ponant will now not return to New Zealand, but will instead take the 61 "hired crew" back home to Indonesia and then "hang around for a few weeks, re-hire these staff members and cruise toward Western Australia for a pre-sold season of cruising from Darwin to Broome (and return numerous times) for the remainder of the season.

We are aware that "no compensation will be paid" -- but are hopeful that our massive credit will be honoured so that we can take another expedition cruise with Ponant, perhaps to New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands (or even down to the Ross Ice Shelf region) in southern Summer 2022 or 2023.     We live in hope !

There is no way in which New Zealand staff would potentially work under cruise ship conditions, e.g., serving in dining areas for up to 17 hours per day for a measly $2 to $3 daily "allowance".

Kiwi staff would expect to be paid at least N.Z. $23.00 per hour for around a three-hour "shift", and then have "free time".    Untenable !   However, that's what New Zealand's Minister of Immigration, Kris Faafoi, was requiring on January 27th when the ship was turned away from New Zealand.      He has no idea of how cruise ships operate.

Like many others, we will continue to plan future cruising opportunities.       Cheers,  Don & Lorna S.

 

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