586 Filipino Seafarers Flown Home from Aruba


PASAY 08 March 2021 — The Department of Foreign Affairs welcomed 586 Filipino seafarers who arrived from Aruba on 06 March 2021 at the NAIA Terminal 1. The seafarers flew in via two company chartered flights—a Wamos and a TUI flight—which left Aruba last 04 March 2021.

“This morning’s arrival is the first batch of scheduled repatriation of some 879 Filipino seafarers. Another batch is arriving on Monday, 08 March 2021,” stated Undersecretary Sarah Lou Y. Arriola.

The seafarers are employed under Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) and are crew members of the ship Norwegian Joy. 

NCL previously reported that the vessel does not have any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed cases of COVID-19 onboard. It also stated that they have not received any confirmation from CDC about COVID-19 positive cases for persons who have been onboard said vessel. 

Norwegian Joy has been without passengers since 15 March 2020. Prior to this repatriation, the crew was under a company-imposed quarantine for at least 14 days.

NCL’s local manning agency, CF Sharp, has been in close coordination with the DFA, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, and other government agencies in securing flight clearances, Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) Certification on the Mandatory Facility-based Quarantine, and other documentary requirements. 

“The DFA is equally thankful to the other One-Stop Shop (OSS) partner agencies like the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), as well as Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), for providing all the necessary assistance in relation to this repatriation,” said Undersecretary Arriola.

The repatriated seafarers will be quarantined at the Savoy Hotel, Manila and Holiday Inn Express.

Earlier in the day, the DFA Repatriation Flight 5J 8011 (Cebu Pac) from Dammam, KSA, arrived carrying 391 repatriates at NAIA 3. The flight included four medical repatriates and three infants. END