After more than two days at sea in sweltering heat, and with no access to running water or hot meals, the passengers on board the Costa Allegra finally stepped off the ship onto the island country of Seychelles earlier today, where they were greeted by medical personal and representatives from embassies and consular offices. Officials from Costa Crociere (which translate to “Costa Cruises” in English), the cruise line that owns the Costa Allegra, were also on hand to help.
Despite the trying circumstances endured over the last few days, about 70 percent of the 627 passengers on board decided to continue their vacations in the Seychelles at Costa Cruises’ expense, according to a statement from the company. These passengers have been taken to hotels spread across four islands of the Seychelles – Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette and Cerfs – where they will spend one to two weeks vacationing. There are worse places to spend a holiday, as the Seychelles, a renowned tourist destination, are essentially a chain of resort islands with white-sand beaches. After their vacations conclude, Costa Cruises will arrange flights home for the passengers.
The remaining passengers who decided to return home immediately have also been taken to hotels, where they spent the day recuperating and waiting for flights home this evening, which were arranged by Costa Cruises. Since they didn’t decide to remain in the Seychelles for the expenses-paid vacation, Costa Cruises gave them a voucher worth the money they spent on their ill-fated Costa Allegra cruise. The voucher can be applied to any Costa cruise that departs within 24 months.
Regardless of which option the passengers selected, Costa Cruises fully refunded the fare paid for the Costa Allegra cruise and any associated travel expenses (e.g., the cost of the flight to the port of departure, in northern Madagascar), and passengers were also given an indemnity worth the same value as this refund. The cruise line also refunded expenses that passengers may have incurred while on board the ship.
Before being hooked up to a French fishing vessel, which slowly pulled the Costa Allegra to the Seychelles over the last two days, the Costa Allegra was left without power after a fire broke out in the engine room. Before assistance arrived, the ship was adrift in an area of the Indian Ocean known for pirate attacks, although no pirates were ever seen.
While the Costa Allegra cruise had a more or less happy ending, the same cannot be said of the Costa Concordia, another ship owned by Costa Cruises, which is itself owned by Carnival. After striking a reef off Isola del Giglio, Italy, the Costa Concordia, the largest passenger ship ever wrecked, began to keel over and partially sink. Twenty five people were killed in the disaster, and another seven are missing and presumed dead.