Tourist thrown off cruise ship in row over cancelled stops

Tourist thrown off Costa cruise ship over cancelled stops
Tourist thrown off Costa cruise ship over cancelled stops

A French tourist was thrown off a 'dream' cruise holiday after staging a protest over cancelled stops.

Alain Jan, 53, a chef who lives on the island of Reunion, was booked on the trip with his wife. It was meant to be a luxury cruise around the "Vanilla islands" of Madagascar, Maurice, Reunion and the Seychelles on the Costa neoRiviera liner.

See also: Man kicked off dream P&O cruise after throwing cigarette overboard

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Two days into the trip, the captain announced that three stops around the island of Madagascar would be cancelled due to a plague epidemic.

The island is suffering with an outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague that the World Health Organisation has said could be a risk to other Indian Ocean regions. Over 1,000 people in Madagascar are infected and more than 100 have died.

Mr Jan said the three cancellations were understandable for health reasons, but that two further stops were then cancelled as well as the stop at Mauritius being canned.

Passengers were then told they'd receive €150 to spend on board as recompense - and this did not go down well.

"Things started heating up - €150 when a major part of the trip is cancelled and a drink on board costs €5," Alain told The Sun.

"That evening, we organised a protest in the restaurant. There were 60 of us banging our fists on the table to alert other cruise passengers to this con job."

There was also a second protest in a theatre after the captain refused to change course.

The captain then rang the local police chief who came on board.

Mr Jan explained that he asked to speak to the French ambassador but that the policeman asked the captain if he wanted to disembark anyone and he pointed to back to him.

He then spent two nights in a hotel in the Seychelles before being flown home to Reunion on a flight paid for by Costa.

He says that the cruise liner turned into a 'floating prison', and that he felt 'ripped off', suggesting Costa knew of the plague cases but were not forthcoming about the change of programme before the cruise set off.

Costa Cruises denies this claim. A spokesperson told the Telegraph.: "The company made every effort to maintain the stop-offs on Madagascar, looking into all the alternatives," but that "security, health and wellbeing of passengers and crew are an absolute priority".

The company explained that authorities in Mauritius had demanded the liner be quarantined to ensure it had no sick passengers, adding: "Given the delays that would have created, and even longer ones if there were any suspect cases on board, and considering that passengers were already on board, the company was forced to restrict its trip to the Seychelles and Reunion."