Cruise Ship Left 8 Behind, Nightmare Commences

Norwegian Cruise Line says they were late returning from an excursion
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2024 12:30 AM CDT
Updated Apr 6, 2024 6:00 AM CDT
Cruise Ship Leaves 8 Passengers Behind in Africa
FILE - The cruise ship Viking Sky arrives at port off Molde, Norway, Sunday March 24, 2019.   (Svein Ove Ekornesvag/NTB scanpix via AP, File)

Eight passengers who were left behind when their Norwegian Cruise Line ship departed from the African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe are scrambling to meet back up with the ship and rejoin the cruise. Jill and Jay Campbell of South Carolina tell WPDE and WMBF that a little more than a week into a 21-day cruise that left from South Africa on March 20, they were with six other passengers on an excursion on the island March 27 that ran late. They say they informed the tour guide, who got in touch with the captain of the Norwegian Dawn, but that when they returned, the captain wouldn't let them board even though the ship was still anchored. The Coast Guard eventually took them out to the ship via boat, but the captain turned them away, they say. Since then, they've been trying to get back to the ship.

Per CNN, the group spent 15 hours traveling through six countries in the hopes of getting back on board Sunday in Gambia, only to find out the ship was unable to dock there as planned due to low tides. They are now trying to get to Senegal, where it is scheduled to dock Tuesday. The group includes elderly people, a paraplegic, a pregnant woman, and a person with a heart condition who reportedly became sick because his medication is still onboard the cruise liner. Meanwhile, they're navigating paperwork and payment issues; the Campbells say they've put up more than $5,000 in travel costs for the group because no one else's credit cards were accepted. The cruise line says the passengers are responsible for returning to the ship by the all-aboard time, and that it is working with them to help them rejoin the cruise. (More Norwegian Cruise Line stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.