Cruise ship captain bids emotional farewell to Devon as Covid restrictions ease

  • Watch: Cruise ships moored off Devon.

The captain of a cruise ship moored off Devon during the pandemic has bid an emotional farewell to the county.

Arno Jutten is captain of Eurodam, which has been anchored off Torbay as part of the Holland-America fleet.

The vessels became a familiar sight off the Devon coastline during the pandemic after holidays were banned and the ships left with nowhere else to go.

But now, as restrictions start to ease, the cruise liners are preparing to leave.

Local well-wishers collected Christmas cards and gifts for the crew last year. Credit: ITV News West Country

Posting in a special Facebook group dedicated to the bay's cruise ships, Captain Jutten said he will "always remember" the area fondly.

"Dear people of Torbay, I would like to thank you for all your support during the past months," he wrote.

“It was a pleasure to be anchored in your beautiful bay.

“I wish the ships (all ships) good luck as they are returning to their natural element in the coming months to welcome our guests back.

One of the many cruise ships moored off Devon's coast during the pandemic.

“As for saying goodbye, we as seafarers don’t really say goodbye. Like ships, we come and go, visit new places, make new friends and meet up with old friends.

“We will always remember this unusual time and your support. Take care of each other.”

The Holland-America fleet, which also included the Volendam, Zaandam, Oosterdam and Nieuw Statendam vessels, took part in a number of events during the pandemic - including sounding their horns for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve.

'Thank you for being here'

In response to Captain Jutten's post, people said they will miss the ships appearing on the horizon.

One wrote: "Thank you for being here and brightening up this miserable time. You've been a wonderful anchor during our storm".

The Eurodam left Torbay to a chorus of horns from her sister ships.

Read more: