The New Zealand government did not allow the crew aboard the Le Laperouse to work in the country due to immigration issues, as well as wanting only New Zealand workers to replace them
Last December, the French cruise line Ponant announced that New Zealand cruises would resume with the Le Laperouse ship starting in February 2021.
The seven cruises were bookable only for New Zealanders.
To make the restart possible, a safety and hygiene protocol similar to that adopted in Europe by MSC and Costa and regularly approved by local authorities was put in place.
During the preparations for the restart of the Le Laperouse, however, serious problems arose: 61 of the 90 crew members were banned from entering New Zealand due to “problems with immigration law”.
A decision greeted with anger by the New Zealand Association of the Cruise Industry, according to which Ponant would have been perfectly in compliance with the immigration laws.
In the impossibility of replacing the seamen rejected at the border with as many workers of New Zealand nationality, the French company had no choice but to cancel the 7 cruises offered for sale and reimburse customers.