Passengers have started leaving a Chinese cruise ship detained at a port on the South Korean island of Jeju over a legal dispute.
More than 1,000 people were due to fly back to China yesterday.
Some 2,300 passengers and crew had been stuck on board the ship Henna since Friday, the BBC reported.
A local court ordered the ship not to leave after a request from a Chinese shipping company. It is not clear what the dispute centres on.
Henna’s operator HNA Tourism Cruises issued a statement on Saturday saying the detention had “restricted personal freedom of those on board and severely infringed upon the rights of innocent passengers”.
The Henna made its maiden voyage under Chinese ownership earlier this year.
The ship, previously operated by Carnival Cruises Lines and P&O Cruises Australia, has been described as China’s first luxury cruise liner.
The vessel had set off from Beijing’s port city of Tianjin last Wednesday and was scheduled to sail around South Korea islands before returning to Tianjin six days later.
Henna’s 1,659 passengers and 650 crew had been due to leave Jeju on Friday for Incheon, said HNA Tourism.
But the local South Korean court issued a detention order after shipping service company Jiangsu Shagang International applied for a seizure.
The ship’s operator provided free entertainment and food to passengers and crew while they were stranded on board.
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