More than 1,000 passengers and crew on board powerless Costa Allegra face three days at sea without lighting and hot food after a plan to tow them to a resort island was abandoned.
Costa Cruises’ decision that the ship must be towed to Mahe in the Seychelles rather than disembarking at Desroches island means that it will not arrive until Thursday morning.
The Italian company said it was not safe to land passengers, including 31 Britons, at the tiny island – home to a luxury resort.
Costa Allegra lost power after a fire in the electrical generating room on Monday while on an Indian Ocean cruise and is now travelling at just 6 knots.
"The disembarkation in Desroches does not assure the necessary and adequate security conditions for mooring the ship and guests’ disembarkation," Costa said.
"In addition, logistics and hotels on the island are not enough. It would require an immediate transfer from Desroches to Mahé through ferries after disembarking the ship through tenders."
The ship will be towed an extra 200 miles to Mahé by a fishing vessel with the assistance of two tugs to help increase the speed.
"At current speed and with stable weather conditions Costa Allegra may also anticipate its arrival in Mahé on March 1 early morning," Costa said last night.
A helicopter is expected to deliver 400 flashlights and fresh bread to the ship today. A small generator has been brought on board by a navy ship.
Costa said the crew "is doing everything possible to make the situation on board more comfortable trying to restore basics services".
The line has flown a 14-strong ‘care team’ to Mahe to meet the vessel. Eight are due to board Costa Allegra today to assist the ship’s staff.
The ship which was originally due to arrive in Mahe yesterday (Tuesday) as part of its scheduled itinerary.
"Costa Cruises is working with all the authorities responsible for the co-ordination of the emergency, to ensure the best possible assistance to all our guests and make their discomfort as short as possible and to reach their next destination," a statement said.
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