The Last Cruise documents the experiences of people onboard the now infamous Diamond Princess cruise ship, where an uncontained COVID-19 outbreak at the start of the pandemic became a global spectacle and a faraway symbol of the new virus and its potential to upend any sense of normalcy.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship set sail from Yokohama, Japan on January 20, 2020. By February 26, 2020, ​the Diamond Princess cruise ship accounted for more than half of all the documented COVID-19 cases outside of China with over 700 infected people on board. Using intimate footage recorded by its passengers and crew, The Last Cruise is a first-person account of the nightmare that transpired aboard the ill-fated cruise. With little information available about the new virus and limited access to resources, the ship’s cases soared. Passengers were quarantined in their staterooms for weeks and would ultimately account for the first citizens to test positive for COVID-19 in several countries around the world. Meanwhile, the crew tended to the passengers, delivered room service and slept and dined in cramped, shared quarters. They’d become what we’d later term “essential workers.”

The Last Cruise is directed and produced by Hannah Olson; produced by Shane Boris, Joe Beshenkovsky, and James A Smith.

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