Mega fine for world's largest cruise ship

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Royal Caribbean Cruises, the owners of Oasis of the Seas -world’s largest cruise ship-, has to pay at least €600,000 in fines for violation of rules and regulations while in the Netherlands; workers on board lacked proper residence papers and worked excessive hours.

The Oasis docked at Keppel Verolme in Botlek in Rotterdam last month for repairs and maintenance. The inspectorate of Social Affairs and Labor had hinted to Royal Caribbean Cruises in advance already that when its ship would be here it would have to adhere to Dutch rules and legislation.

When ten inspectors then visited the ship on Wednesday they found many things amiss; it warranted a second visit by 45 inspectors. It turned out that at least 48 crew members did not have proper Dutch work permits; most of them hail from the Philippines, the rest came from South America.

Some of them worked way too hard, up to 16 hours per day the inspectors found; Royal Caribbean will also face a fine for this violation; the height will be determined when the investigation is completed.

The inspectorate may levy a €12,000 fine per violation and since the company had been warned beforehand the fine will probably stand. With the repairs completed, the Oasis is set to leave Rotterdam tomorrow for Southampton.

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