Al Janusas and Heidi Adhofer are currently in Honolulu, where their cruise ship MS Maasdam is docked. They have not been able to disembark to fly home to Kelowna. (Al Janusas)

Kelowna couple among 842 stuck in cruise ship docked in Hawaii

Holland America cruise ship MS Maasdam has been docked in Honolulu since Mar. 19

They were supposed to end their trip in Papeete, Tahiti and then fly home to Kelowna.

But they’ve been stuck in MS Maasdam, which has docked in Honolulu, Hawaii since March 19.

Al Janusas and his wife Heidi Adhofer said the cruise started off on March 1 in Auckland, New Zealand. But as the COVID-19 outbreak worsened, the ship’s passengers were gradually told they were barred from nearly half of the ports they were scheduled to visit.

Janusas said on March 12, they were told the ship was going directly to Hilo, Hawaii instead of Tahiti. They were in the Cook Islands at the time, and some passengers with confirmed flights home were allowed to disembark and fly home.

But Janusas and Adhofer stayed in the ship.

“The only flights departing were routed through Auckland, which was 3,000 kilometres in the opposite direction required by Canadians,” he said.

“The ship started steaming towards Hilo, Hawaii on March 13. All the remaining passengers eventually managed to change their travel arrangements. On Mar. 16, Holland America announced we were again changing our destination to go non-stop to Honolulu. All the travel arrangements were modified again.”

And since then, they’ve been docked at Honolulu, unable to get out of the ship. Janusas said no one on board is symptomatic or sick, but the ship’s staff have raised cleaning and hygiene levels on board.

He added the ship has been refuelled and replenished, but still they weren’t allowed to disembark, with a heavy policy presence on the ship jetty and the U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the harbour.

“We and other Canadians on board are trying to comply with our government’s directive to return home as soon as possible, but we’re being barred from leaving despite no infections n board,” he said.

“There are passengers here from all across Canada, including many from B.C. and a few from the Okanagan… our fate remains in limbo.”

Janusas said they’ll keep trying their best to get back to Kelowna, but he hopes the Canadian government can help them disembark and finally get home.

READ MORE: Lake County residents embrace the little things during COVID-19 pandemic

READ MORE: B.C. screening care home workers as two more test positive for COVID-19


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

West Kelowna RCMP searching for suspects after stolen vehicle dumped

Police found the stolen pickup truck in the backcountry

Former Kelowna football player drowns in Fraser River

Kory Nagata went missing in the middle arm of the river

Auditions begin as film starts rolling in the Okanagan

An audition call for locally-shot feature films, made-for-TV movies and commercials takes place on July 11 and 12

Kelowna’s Friends of Dorothy to host LGBT2Q+ live music acts

Matthew Presidente and Pedwell are on the bill for July 7 and 8

Security camera captures woman stealing package from Westbank doorstep

Sharon Utton posted a video of the incident to Facebook shortly after it happened on Saturday, July 4

84-year-old Okanagan resident finishes 12,000-piece puzzle

Willie Tribiger started the puzzle in 2013, completing it in six and a half years

Aces aplenty at Okanagan golf course

Vernon Golf and Country Club has 14 recorded holes-in-one since April 30

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Pilot project will stay in place until Oct. 15

Sad ending in case of missing Okanagan senior

Body of Vernon man Wayne Orser found floating in Okanagan Lake Tuesday, July 7

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Most Read