Americans Stranded by Norwegian Cruise Ship on African Island

( — A Norwegian cruise ship departed from an African island without eight passengers who were late returning to the cruise, leaving them stranded on the island without a means of transportation.

Six Americans, including a couple from South Carolina, are among the eight passengers stranded on the African island. The incident ultimately prompted the area’s Coast Guard to become involved, resulting in a days-long string of inconveniences for the passengers attempting to reboard the vessel. The passengers have yet to rejoin the cruise ship and may decide to find alternative transportation back home due to the ordeal.

The ship in question is the Norwegian Dawn, which began a 21-day trip after it left Cape Town, South Africa, to transport passengers to Spain. The cruise started on March 20th and will arrive in Barcelona around April 10th. The incident resulting in the cruise ship abandoning the eight passengers occurred just seven days into the trip when the boat briefly stopped at São Tomé. The eight passengers decided to join a tour while the ship remained anchored, but the tour took longer than expected, resulting in the passengers missing the return call for the cruise liner. The tour guide transporting the passengers attempted to contact the cruise ship but failed to inform the boat’s staff about the passengers’ late return.

After the ship left São Tomé, the stranded passengers attempted to contact the cruise liner’s staff and even enlisted the help of São Tomé’s Coast Guard. The Coast Guard contacted the Norwegian Dawn and informed the cruise ship about the stranded passengers, but the cruise’s staff refused to allow them back onboard and demanded that they rejoin the voyage at a later stop. Due to the cruise ship’s refusal to let them back onboard, the passengers remain stranded on São Tomé and are still working to arrange transportation from the African island.

Although the stranded passengers claim that organizing finances and communicating with residents of São Tomé is difficult given the language barrier, one of the passengers, Jay Campbell, said that the island’s locals are helping them find shelter and arrange transportation. The stranded group initially planned on rejoining the Norwegian Dawn once it arrived in Gambia, but the ship had to find a different docking location due to inclement weather. Following the ship’s change in course, the cruise’s staff informed the passengers about where they could potentially rejoin the voyage, but the stranded group wasn’t sure if they’d return or find alternative transportation.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian cruise liner spoke about the incident, describing it as “unfortunate” for the stranded passengers. The spokesperson also claimed that the passengers should’ve returned to the ship on time, as the cruise liner informed passengers of the impending departure and when they had to return to the vessel.

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