Evacuation From Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay - Orust, Sweden, Mid of April 2020

After 3 weeks at anchor, 10 nautical miles off Montevideo in Uruguay, we finally got the good news that an evacuation was about to happen. Fingers crossed we all should be off the ship soon...

Thanks to the hard work and collaboration between the Aurora team, the Uruguayan Government and different international embassies, several chartered planes were organised to safely get us all back home.

96 Australians and 16 kiwis were the first ones to get off in Montevideo, starting their travel back home, where 14 days of quarantine awaits.

A small week after our aussie- and kiwi friends got evacuated, it was time for the rest of us, 15 pax from different nationalities in Europe, as well as the US and Canada, to finally step off the ship.

By bus we then got police escorted through the city of Montevideo to the airport. How amazing to see the citizens of Montevideo being so involved and supportive of our evacuation!

Our chartered medical plane would bring us, via Miami, back to Europe. A plane set up into risk zones with divided sectors, where each passenger is seated by their covid-19 test result.

After such a long time aboard a virus-infected vessel, I feel fortunate as all of my test results have been negative, but regardless of the test results we are all in good health and in the best mood :-)

40 hours later from when we left Montevideo, I finally find myself back at the Swedish west coast, where spring is flourishing as never before.

A warm thank you to Aurora Expeditions, the Uruguayan Government and the embassies for all the hard work in finding solutions to get us all back home. And of course, my biggest hugs (which I haven't been able to share in a very long time now!) to every single one of the amazing expedition team, who all kept an outstanding teamwork, kindness and high spirits despite the circumstances and many uncertainties onboard.

Very sad news reached us soon after we all reached our destinations. One of the crew members, who was hospitalised due to critical covid-19 symptoms, past away. My condolences to family and friends. R.I.P

Rio de la Plata, Uruguay

Rio de la Plata, Montevideo, Uruguay, Beginning of April 2020

A small update from the expedition-cruise vessel, Greg Mortimer, which has been my temporary  home during this season's Antarctic trips which I joined on the 4th of February.

As mentioned in my previous blogpost, we had to cut short on our last Antarctic voyage due to the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore sailed north to Montevideo, in Uruguay, in hope to get all passengers and staff back home before South America closes their borders.

We arrived Rio de la Plata, which is the widest river in the world with its maximum width of 220 kilometers, on the 27th of March and have since then been at anchor 10 nautical miles off Montevideo.

Due to a medical evacuation, we got to know that we have covid-19 onboard, which made a normal disembarkation not possible. 

Thanks to the Government of Uruguay, we all got covid-tested onboard. Of total 217 persons, we got 128 positive and 89 negative test results. 6 medical evacuations have been made, but the rest of us are doing good despite the circumstances.

Meanwhile we do our best to keep the spirits up onboard, Aurora Expeditions, together with the Government of Uruguay and international embassies, is working hard to get us all safely back home. 

Thanks so much to everybody involved!