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2 Apr, 2024 12:00

Cruise ship passengers stranded on African island

The travelers were left behind because they missed the boarding time, the company operating the vessel has said
Cruise ship passengers stranded on African island

Eight cruise ship passengers, including a pregnant woman and an elderly man with a heart condition, were reportedly left stranded on an African island last week after they were late for reboarding.   

The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel had stopped for an excursion on Sao Tome and Principe, an island nation of some 220,000 people, while on a voyage along the western coast of Africa on Wednesday.    

Six Australians and two Americans were reportedly denied entry to the ship upon their return, even though they could still see the vessel from the shore, the WPDE news station reported on Sunday.  

The passengers missed the “all aboard time of 3pm,” the cruise line said, describing it as a “very unfortunate situation” while stressing that travelers are responsible for timekeeping.   

The island’s coast guard reportedly even took the passengers to the ship, but they were not permitted to reboard and had to turn back.   

Most of the stranded travelers did not have medication or working credit cards, the media said.  

The group is said to have flown to Gambia on Sunday seeking to rejoin the ship at another port. However, a spokesperson for the cruise line said the ship could not safely dock in Gambia due to poor weather. He added that efforts are being made for the guests to rejoin the ship in Senegal on Tuesday.  

Incidents of passengers failing to reboard vessels on time are not uncommon, mainly as cruise ships operate on tight time constraints involving considerable costs.  

Two MSC Splendida passengers were left behind last summer at an Italian port after showing up late for departure. A viral TikTok video showed the couple shouting and waving at the ship to wait for them.

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