Coronavirus-plagued Artania cruise ship leaves Western Australia after three-week stay

The Artania cruise ship has begun its journey back to Europe from Western Australia, days after the death of another crewman.

Cruise ship Artania has left Fremantle harbour on Saturday, bound for Europe.

Cruise ship Artania has left Fremantle harbour on Saturday, bound for Europe. Source: AAP

The plagued Artania cruise ship is finally departing Western Australia after a three-week stay during which three people on board died of coronavirus.

The German liner began its journey from Fremantle back to Europe on Saturday afternoon, keeping to its scheduled 1pm local time departure.

The cruise ship Artania is seen preparing to depart Fremantle harbour on Saturday
Source: AAP

It will comes as a significant relief for the WA government, who have made no secret of wanting the ship to leave as soon as possible.

A total of 79 crew and passengers from the Artania have tested positive to coronavirus in WA.

They include a 42-year-old crewman from the Philippines who died in a Perth hospital on Thursday, taking the state's toll to seven.

The ship's captain, Morten Hansen, said the crew member had been with the company since 2006 and most recently served as a motorman, describing his death as "heartbreaking".

Two other people from the Artania died last week, one a passenger aged in his 70s and the other a 69-year-old crewman.

Some of the crew who are expected to return home on a charter flight were removed from the ship on Saturday and transferred to a Perth hotel.

It's understood the ship will make stops in Indonesia and the Philippines en route to Germany.

The ship had been scheduled to depart earlier this month before being granted an additional 14-day quarantine period by the Australian Border Force.

Some 219 of WA's 541 cases have been among people linked to cruise ships.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

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Published 18 April 2020 at 3:54pm, updated 18 April 2020 at 4:08pm