The nightmare journey of passengers on board the stricken Costa Allegra cruise ship has come to an end. Weary and relieved, they disembarked at the Seychelles, where the vessel was towed after being crippled by a fire in the Indian Ocean.
More than half the 636 passengers have accepted the company’s offer of continuing their holiday in the Seychelles. Others have opted to head home.
One Spanish passenger said: “We came close to a tragedy. If we had had to get into the lifeboats, it would have been really serious, because hundreds of people would have been in each boat, floating helplessly in the sea.”
One German tourist praised the actions of the crew, but said he was really happy to be on solid ground.
No one was seriously injured in the fire or its aftermath, though some passengers required medical checks after their arduous voyage.
It is another massive setback for Costa after the capsizing of its Concordia cruise ship off Italy, in which 32 people died. The holiday firm has booked more than 600 flights for those who want to go home.