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Cruise Ship Stuck in Spain Resumes Sailing, Passengers With Visa Issues Removed

  • A cruise ship carrying 1,500 passengers was stuck in Barcelona due to a visa dispute.
  • Spanish authorities suspected that the visas of 69 Bolivian passengers were fake.
  • The passengers are being held on another boat while authorities investigate.

A cruise ship carrying 1,500 passengers got stuck in Barcelona port after Spanish authorities investigated 69 Bolivian passengers.

Police deemed the Bolivian passengers’ visas to be fake and opened an investigation, Spanish police authorities told the Efe news agency.

The MSC Armonia cruise ship departed from Brazil and was due to continue its journey across the Mediterranean, with some passengers stopping in Barcelona, ​​Efe reported.

The delay led to the cancellation of planned stops in France, Greece and Croatia, prompting some disgruntled passengers to leave the ship early, Reuters reported.

Barcelona was supposed to be the final destination for Bolivian passengers. However, the ship had to remain in port until the situation was resolved.

In a statement shared with Business Insider, MSC Cruises confirmed that cruising will resume on Thursday.

“Thanks to the cooperation with the Spanish authorities, the group of Bolivian guests has been disembarked and will now follow the immigration process as required by law. We provide our full support to this process,” they said.

The spokesperson confirmed that the passengers’ visas are not valid for entry and that Spanish authorities are investigating.

The passengers will be held on another boat while Spanish authorities decide whether they will be deported or given asylum, Reuters reported, citing the government’s regional delegation in Catalonia.

Solange Duarte, a Bolivian diplomat in Barcelona, ​​told the AP that she had received reports that some Bolivian passengers had been tricked into obtaining fake visas.

MSC Cruises is one of the world’s largest cruise lines, known for its long, luxury voyages that can last months.

Its new four-month world cruise, which begins in 2026, is expected to cost passengers between $15,800 and $38,210 per person, depending on their cabin.

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