6 Americans, Including Pregnant Passenger, Abandoned by Cruise Ship on African Island; It Refused to Let Them On

Eight people who were aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship on a trip to Africa have been stranded for nearly a week after the ship left without them.

Six American citizens are among those who were left behind, but the company is denying any liability for the issues and also for the inability of those who are stranded to make their way back onboard, the New York Post reported.

According to the NBC affiliate WMBF-TV, a Norwegian cruise ship made a stop in the African island country of São Tomé and Príncipe on March 27.

A number of passengers exited the ship in order to explore the country on private tours.

Due to holdups on those tours, which prevented passengers from returning to the ship by its departure time, the ship eventually left the country’s port without them.


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While authorities in the island country made every attempt to help their guests get back on track, the ship left port and moved back northward on its way back to Europe up the western African coast.

Six days later, those people are still searching for a way to find their way back to the three-week cruise while they attempt to catch up.

Those who are stranded include the Americans, as well as two Australian citizens.

Should the passengers have been let back on board?

Per WMBF, those desperate to return are a pregnant woman, a paraplegic and one person with a heart condition.

The best the cruise liner could do, it said, was to leave the passports of those stuck behind for them and to stay in contact with them about a future point where they could come back aboard.

Still, those now in Africa after having gone off on their own have no cash and are growing desperate.

The ship they were on is making its way to Spain, but time is running out as the marooned vacationers search for help. One couple from South Carolina told WMBF their side of the story.

Jill and Jay Campbell of Garden City, South Carolina, were not happy they said and said they had spared no expense on their travels.

Jay Campbell told the outlet, “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.”


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Mr. Campbell added, “We were on a tour of the island, but we had an issue on the tour, and they didn’t get us back in time.”

Norwegian Cruise Lines said in a statement to the local news outlet that it is each passenger’s personal responsibility to ensure they make the appropriate arrangements to be aboard ships when they leave ports at their scheduled times.

“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,” a person representing the company said.

Another person with Norwegian also spoke to CNN about the issue.

The company reiterated that all passengers who disembark to explore other countries are told that if they are not back aboard by the time they are told, they could be left behind.

Norwegian Cruise Lines also said it was working with each country on its itinerary, as well as those stranded, to get them back on the next stop.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no one who had been left behind had been able to rejoin the cruise.

One passenger of an unknown national origin has reportedly fallen ill after days without a necessary health medication, which was left on the vessel.

The cruise was scheduled to last 21 days and left its port of origin on March 20.

It is scheduled to end on April 10 in Barcelona, but as of Tuesday evening, the Norwegian Dawn was just off the coast of Senegal, according to a website called CruiseMapper, which allows people to track the real-time locations of ships.

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