Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Eight Passengers Stranded on Island After Cruise Ship Leaves Without Them

A group of passengers was stranded on Sao Tome, a small African Island after their Norwegian cruise ship left without them.

The tourists, six Americans and two Australians were aboard a Norwegian cruise ship called the Norwegian Dawn, which left Cape Town, South Africa, for a three-week journey up the coast of Africa. They were set to arrive in Barcelona, Spain, on April 10.

But on Wednesday, March 27, the passengers – who were on a private tour on the island – were late to return to the cruise ship, which had a boarding time of 3 p.m.

norwegian cruise 1

Jill and Jay Campbell, both of whom are from South Carolina, were among those who were left behind.

According to them, the tour’s operator had notified the captain of the cruise that they were going to be late getting back on the ship. However, when they got back, they weren’t allowed to board despite the local Coast Guard’s efforts.

Because of that, they were left stranded on the island for days off the coast of Nigeria. To make matters worse, they didn’t have the right currency, nor did they speak the language.

jim and jay
Jim and Jay Campbell were part of the group that got left behind on the remote island

Fortunately, the people in Sao Tome were very hospitable and kind and were able to find the group hotels to stay in. They also helped them get to a tour agency, where they were able to book flights to the next port.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian cruise described it as a ‘very unfortunate situation’ but said that passengers are responsible for returning to the cruise on time.

According to the cruise line, they delivered their passports to the local port agents after they failed to return to the cruise ship. They also worked with the local authorities to determine the visas and requirements needed for the group to reboard the ship at the next port.

On Monday, April 1st, the passengers planned on boarding the ship in Gambia, however, it was unable to dock safely due to ‘tidal restrictions’ and ‘adverse weather conditions’. They were then told to rejoin the cruise ship at Dakar the following day.

However, they’re now wondering if it’s even worth going back to the ship.

They believed the ship did not have their customers’ well-being as their priority and followed protocols too rigidly.

left behind

While the cruise maintains that passengers are responsible for rejoining the ship on time, they will be reimbursing them for their travel costs to Senegal.

One silver lining is that the group was able to connect with Julia Lenkoff, another passenger of the cruise ship, who was also left behind on the island, due to a medical reason. They were able to contact Lenkoff’s family in California, who safely took her home – a move that likely ‘saved her life’.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.


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