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Stranded Cruise Passengers Rejoin Ship After Chase Through Africa

  • Eight passengers continued their cruise ship around Africa for six days.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed on Tuesday the reboarding of passengers in Senegal.
  • They found themselves stranded in São Tomé and Príncipe and missed an opportunity to re-embark in Gambia.

A group of passengers stranded on a small African island after missing a boarding deadline finally made it back to their cruise ship on Tuesday after chasing it for nearly a week.

On March 27, a private tour was overrun, causing eight passengers to miss Norwegian Dawn’s total boarding time of 3 p.m. by more than an hour, a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson confirmed via email to Business Insider.

Passengers found themselves stranded in São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation of some 220,000 people off the coast of West Africa, in what the cruise line called a “very unfortunate situation.”

Despite efforts by the São Tomé and Príncipe coast guard to transport the passengers to the ship in tender boats, the group was unable to reboard and had to return to land, according to ABC affiliate. WPDE.

The first attempt to get the guests back on board the ship took place on Monday, when they hoped to re-embark at a port in Banjul, Gambia, some 1,800 miles from São Tomé and Príncipe.

However, “adverse weather conditions, as well as tidal restrictions” prevented the ship from docking safely, a cruise line spokesperson said.

As a result, guests had to pursue the ship to Dakar, Senegal – a distance of about 100 miles further – for another re-embarkation attempt on Tuesday.

Norwegian said it had helped passengers by making it easier to obtain their visas and would reimburse them for the trip from Gambia to Senegal.

Jill Campbell, one of the passengers, told NBC News that she and her husband crossed seven countries in 48 hours to catch up with the ship.

It was unclear which route they took.

The couple had considered not joining the ship, believing Norwegian Cruise Line had failed to meet its “basic duty of care,” Campbell told NBC News.

But, six days after being abandoned in São Tomé and Príncipe, the cruise line confirmed that the eight passengers, including the Campbells, finally re-embarked in Senegal on Tuesday.

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