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Eight passengers left stranded on African island after cruise ship refused to let them reboard
Featured Image Credit: WMBF News

Eight passengers left stranded on African island after cruise ship refused to let them reboard

The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel left the island of São Tomé and Príncipe with eight less passengers onboard.

Passengers have spoken out after being refused re-boarding onto their cruise and left stranded on an island.

A Norwegian Cruise Line vessel that set sail from South Africa ended up with eight less passengers onboard after passing through the island of São Tomé and Príncipe.

On 27 March, 2024, when the ship stopped off at the African island nation, eight guests missed the last call back to the vessel and were left stranded on the island. A couple has since spoken out about the ongoing ordeal.

WMBF News reports seven American passengers and two Australian passengers were left stranded, however, Norwegian Cruise Line told the outlet there are a total of eight.

Jill and Jay Campbell are two of the group of passengers who were left stranded just eight days into their 21-day cruise trip.

Jay told WMBF News he and his wife were 'on a tour of the island', but 'had an issue on the tour' which resulted in them not getting back in time for the cruise's departure.

The Campbells claim the local coast guard tried to help get them back onto the cruise - which they say was still anchored by the time they got back into the port - but the captain still denied their entry.

"We were waiting for the tender boats to come back and get us because our boat was anchored off the harbor, but they didn’t come back to get us so we’re stranded here," Jay adds.

Jill and Jay are two of the passengers who were left stranded.

The couple, alongside the other guests, were subsequently left stranded on São Tomé without access to any of their belongings, additional money and any medicine they required - the Campbells claiming one passenger was pregnant, another had a heart condition and a third was quadriplegic.

The Campbells told WRAL they had to pay $5,000 to cover the cost of hotels, food and other essentials for the group as other members didn't have a Visa card on them.

The group then travelled to the cruise's next stop - Gambia - however, it didn't end up stopping there as a result of low tides, WPDE reports, and so now they're hoping to rejoin the trip in Senegal today (Tuesday, 2 April).

Jay resolved: "We paid a lot for this trip to Africa, so we hope to make it through the rest of this trip and end in Spain."

And Norwegian Cruise Line has since responded.

The coast guard tried to help but the Campbells claim they were denied entry.
YouTube/ NBC/ Today

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line told WMBF News: "On the afternoon of March 27, 2024, while the ship was in Sao Tome and Principe, an African island nation, eight guests who were on the island on their own or with a private tour missed the last tender back to the vessel, therefore not meeting the all aboard time of 3 p.m. local time.

"While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel.

"Guests are responsible for any necessary travel costs to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call. When the guests did not return to the vessel at the all aboard time, their passports were delivered to the local port agents to retrieve when they returned to the port.

"Our team has been working closely with the local authorities to understand the requirements and necessary visas needed if the guests were to rejoin the ship at the next available port of call. We are in communication with the guests and providing additional information as it becomes available."

UNILAD has contacted Norwegian Cruise Line for comment.

Topics: Travel, World News, Cruise ship, Health