Freo's View


Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, cruiseliner, cruises, fremantle ports, tourism, travel, Uncategorized by freoview on April 18, 2020


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The coronavirus troubled MS Artania finally left Fremantle Port at 1pm this Saturday after an epic journey that saw 800 passengers being transported onto charter flights to Germany, while others passengers and crew were isolated in Perth hotels.

Several passengers and crew had the Covid-19 virus and had to be treated in hospital, but sadly some of them died here in WA.

The ship’s captain said the support and care they had received had been amazing.

Fremantle people came out in force to wave goodbye to the cruise ship, with the South and North moles packed with cars and Victoria Quay also full with people, and many said it was quite an emotional experience, as it was for me also.

I wish the trip back to Hamburg will be smooth sailing for the Artania crew and wish them well.

Roel Loopers



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The latest from the Australian Border Force is that no plans are being made to fly the crew of the MS Artania, which is docked in Fremantle Port, back to their home countries.

Late last week we were told plans were being made for charter flights to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, where the majority of crew members come from, but that has now changed. Why?

WA Premier Mark McGowan has been insisting for weeks that the cruise liner leaves Fremantle Port, and Australian waters, but the status quo remains.

Roel Loopers




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I do not understand why the Federal Government has different rules for cruise ships in New South Wales  than it has for cruise liners in Western Australia.

While we have been told that the MS Artania will remain in Fremantle Port for another fortnight to self quarantine, Border Force was literary out in real force off Sydney yesterday, and threats were made to the captains of the cruise ships that hefty fines and/or a five year jail sentence would apply if they did not leave Australian waters.

That of course comes after the absolutely unacceptable debacle of the Ruby Princess, where most states are still affected by the stupidity of allowing Covid-19 infected passengers to disembark in Sydney. Through them the virus has spread nation wide. Up to today 612 passengers and crew have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

I am not arguing to let people rot and die, but I want to know why different rules apply in the Eastern States, and I want to know also if state and federal governments are going to invoice the cruise companies for cleaning up their mess.

I for one really like it that many of the Ruby Princess passengers are taking out a class action against the company, because what happened should never have happened, and someone in the NSW government should also get the boot. Incompetence can not be left unpunished.


And from me a big thumbs up to the WA McGowan government for doing a splendid job under extremely trying circumstances!

Roel Loopers



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It appears there is a stand-off at Fremantle Port between the Federal Government and the captain of the MS Artania cruise ship. The ship has been ordered by Canberra to leave Fremantle and Australian waters but refuses to do so.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has rightly been very unhappy with what has been going on with the Artania, after it was allowed to berth in Fremantle when the captain said they only had seven Covid-19 cases on board. Once at berth at Victoria Quay it was suddenly revealed that 47 passengers had the coronavirus. They were transported to Joondalup Hospital, where two of them are in critical condition.

What if many more of the present people on board get the coronavirus? It would put strain on the WA health system, as they would occupy beds and care needed for Western Australians.

The coronavirus pandemic and it spreading a lot through cruise ships has shown that cruise operators no longer can go on with the modus operandi they have had for years. They need to change their ways, and maybe the type of aircon used on the ships, because gastro and other health scare outbreaks on cruise liners are not a rarity.

People pay big money for cruises and they need to be assured they are safe on board. The Covid-19 pandemic will no doubt make many people question if they should go on a cruise or not, and it is the kind of kick in the backside the industry needs to lift its game. They do have a duty of care for their passengers and crew and can’t just pass on that responsibility to the governments of the ports they happen to visit.

The ship was scheduled to leave at midday today, but has been taken off the list of today’s shipping movements by Fremantle Ports.

We don’t need your Thank you Fremantle signs, MS Artania, we want you to leave and go back home to Germany! Auf Wiedersehen!

Roel Loopers




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About 200 Western Australian passengers, who arrived in Fremantle Port on the Vasco da Gama cruise ship, were transferred to Rottnest Island ferries late on Monday morning from where they sailed to the WA holiday island, where they are put into 14 day quarantine in the cottages and the hotel

There was a very long wait for the media at B Shed with some of the TV crews and photographers arriving at 8am, but the first ferry left just after 1pm.

Overzealous police officers pushed the media back all the way to B Shed, although the boarding of the ferries was changed from the O’Connor Landing to D Shed, so the media should have been allowed to shoot footage through the C Shed gates where they would still have been well away from the action.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, cruises, cruiseship, fremantle ports, health, Uncategorized by freoview on March 29, 2020


Latest from the cruise ship debacle in Fremantle is that the MSC Magnifica, after restocking, will finally leave our shores, so although there are no reported cases of coronavirus on board that vessel, she will finally leave, as WA Premier Mark McGowan insisted on.

The MS Artania has now 47 infected people, so fewer than the 70 cases reported. They will be cared for at two western suburbs private hospitals.

The Western Australian passengers on the Vasco da Gama will be transferred to Rottnest Island on Monday for two weeks of isolation, while the interstate and overseas passengers will be driven to the Perth airport to fly straight back home.

While there is a lot of criticism of all our governments we need to acknowledge that the Covid-19 is an unprecedented crisis and policy is made on the run, as the issues change and problems increase.

There are no easy solutions, no quick fixes, and this is not a government problem but a problem that all of us as a community, and as the global village need to attack. Stay as home as much as you can. Do physically connect with people as little as possible, and ideally not at all. Go for a healthy walk to get some fresh air, but don’t use it to socialise.

Get a take away coffee, but don’t linger. Stay away from each other when going for an early morning swim, but don’t stay on to sun bake for hours.

Socialise on the phone or via the internet, us Skype and Facetime, etc, but don’t invite friends over for dinner or drinks!

Apply common sense and think of other people!


Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, covid-19, cruiseliners, cruises, fremantle ports, health, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2020




If the story about the MS Artania in the Saturday West Australian is correct it is an absolute outrage and legal action should be taken against the ship’s captain and the shipping company.

Now that the Western Australian government has allowed the cruiseship to berth in Fremantle Port, with three charter flights to Germany organised to get the passengers out of our country, the captain, according to the West, has suddenly declared that more than 70 passengers have Covid-like symptoms. The ship initially reported that only five passengers and three crew members had symptoms of the coronavirus. Once at berth that suddenly became ten times more. That is unacceptable and unethical behaviour!

WA Premier Mark McGowan was very reluctant to let the ship come into Fremantle Port, and now we have to deal with the mess and a whole lot of foreign tourists will require medical care and accommodation for isolation that might be needed for Western Australians.

We all know what happened in New South Wales and are still hearing of Covid-19 cases that are linked to the cruiseship they allowed to berth in Sydney.

The Vasco da Gama arrived in Fremantle Port on Friday evening, and the MSC Magnifica appears to refuse to leave the WA coast, so what on earth is going on, and what is the federal government going to do about protecting the people of Fremantle and Western Australia?

The protection of Australian citizens must be a priority and should not be compromised!

Roel Loopers






The German MS ARTANIA cruise liner was allowed to berth at Victoria Quay in Fremantle Port after all, when a compromise was reached and the Federal Government arranged with the German government for three charter flights to take the over 800 passengers to Frankfurt.

The passengers will embark from the ship straight onto buses which will be escorted and go directly to the airport. They are only allowed to take one piece of luggage with them each.

Peter Hughes Drive to the Passenger Terminal has been closed, so no one can get near it who does not have to be there

Five passengers and two crew members who have Covid-19 symptoms will be treated here in Perth.

I believe this is a good outcome for all, with a mercy dash to Germany that won’t compromise the health of Western Australians.

Roel Loopers



Western Australia is going to have to deal with a big cruise ship crisis with the MSC Magnifica, which left Fremantle Port late yesterday, being denied to sail to Dubai, and is now off the Fremantle coast in Gage Roads.

Another cruise liner, the Artania, which was due to only refuel in Fremantle Port has reported 25 of her 800 passengers on board have respiratory illness and have requested medical help from the WA government. This ship will also not be allowed to berth in Fremantle.

The Vasco da Gama, which is due in Fremantle on Friday and end her journey here, has 798 Australian passengers on board, and they will be transported to Rottnest Island for a 14 day quarantine period, before being allowed to travel on home.

The State Government has requested help from the Federal Government in Canberra, as the issues are too big for the state to handle.

Premier Mark McGowan has made it absolutely clear though that the MSC Magnifica will not be allowed to return to Fremantle. She is fully stocked and fueled with no ill passengers, so there are other ports the ship can sail to, the Premier said.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, cruises, fremantle ports, health, Uncategorized by freoview on March 24, 2020



The MSC Magnifica cruiseliner episode has been a bit of a shambles, with Premier Mark McGowan, the health minister and police commissioner yesterday all claiming during a national telecast that the ship carried over 250 passengers with respiratory problems, and hence the ship would not be allowed in Fremantle Port.

The Premier said the State was in contact with the Homes Affairs minister and that the Defence Force might be needed to help out, as it was too big for the State to handle.

But yesterday afternoon MSC put out a media statement saying that none of the passengers on board had Covid-19 related health issues.

What really are the facts, one has to wonder, with the West Australian claiming it had created ‘mass panic’ which is well over the top and irresponsible reporting. Yes, there was some angst in the Freo community, but it is pretty easy to keep passengers and crew aboard a ship and not let them disembark.

It did however create issues, with a whole Covid-19 ward at Charles Gairdner Hospital being emptied to cope with the expected mass influx of sick passengers. The patients on the ward were transferred to the Osborne Park Hospital.

It is quite clear that there is a lot of anxiety and misinformation in the community. Too many people make unsubstantiated claims on social media, and of course everyone has got an opinion, no matter if that is based on facts or not.

We need to learn to relax and accept the situation we are in, as it could take six months or longer before we are trying to get back to normal. Rumours and conspiracy are not helpful and neither is panic.

Roel Loopers

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