Even a cruise ship doesn’t wait: latecomers left behind on an island in West Africa

Even a cruise ship doesn’t wait: latecomers left behind on an island in West Africa
Even a cruise ship doesn’t wait: latecomers left behind on an island in West Africa

To travel

The Norwegian Dawn. — © Reuters

Eight passengers from the Norwegian Dawn were no longer welcome on board after a stopover on an island in the Gulf of Guinea because they were late. The passengers then tried with all their might to get back on board.

Eight passengers from the cruise ship Norwegian Dawn were left by their captain on the island of Sao Tome, about 250 kilometers off the coast of Gabon, where they stopped for a tour. The passengers were supposed to be back on the ship by three o’clock in the afternoon, but were too late. The local coast guard of the island took the passengers to the ship in a motor boat, but the captain refused to let them on board.

The ship of the Norwegian Cruise Lines group arrived in Sao Tome on Wednesday morning. It had left Cape Town on March 20 for a three-week cruise ending in Barcelona on April 10. The latecomers included a pregnant woman and an octogenarian who was reportedly late to the ship because she was undergoing emergency medical treatment on the island. “We have never experienced anything like this,” said two passengers ABC4 News.

“The harbor master tried to summon the ship. The captain refused and did not answer the phone. We sent emails to NCL and called the emergency customer service number. No reaction. The captain could have simply picked up one of the motorboats we were on. Then he could let us safely on board and continue sailing.”

Crossed six countries

The travelers’ passports were left with local port authorities, who returned them to the abandoned passengers. But their medicines, bank cards and other belongings remained on board. Two passengers said they were the only ones with a Visa card and had paid more than $5,000 trying to reach the ship.

Four days later the ship would dock in Gambia. The group planned to re-board there, but low tide prevented the ship from making the planned stop. Then the passengers say they traveled through six countries, eventually arriving in Senegal via a ferry to Dakar, where they set foot back on the cruise ship.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Lines responded that it was a “very unfortunate situation”, but it was also the passengers’ responsibility not to be late.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: cruise ship doesnt wait latecomers left island West Africa


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