Thursday, March 1, 2012

Costa Allegra Arrives in Seychelles

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Crippled Ship Arrives in
Port Victoria, Mahé

Images are emerging from Seychelles where the disabled Costa Allegra safely reached port under tow early Thursday morning local time.  By midday, passengers were disembarked and on their way to continue an alternate vacation or back home.

More Photos of Costa Allegra Arrival

Since 10:30 CET Monday, February 27th, the passengers and crew of Costa Allegra were without electricity and the comforts of a usual cruise ship in the wake of a fire that broke out in the generator room.

A French fishing vessel,Trevignon, was the first ship to arrive on the scene and provide assistance to the Costa Allegra. Two other tug boats arrived later to provide assistance, but the captain of the fishing vessel refused to accept the assistance, perhaps delaying the arrival into port. We suspect they were looking for compensation for their assistance and didn't want to split that with anyone else.

Costa Announces Compensation Plan

The number of Guests who have decided to accept Costa Crociere’s offer to continue their holidays in the Seychelles has risen to about 70%, out of a total of 627. These Guests have already been taken to the hotels where there will spend 1 or 2 weeks holiday at the company’s expense on the islands of Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette and Cerfs. Costa Crociere will also organize their return flights home after the holiday.

The remaining 30% of Guests who have decided to return home have been accommodated in hotels on the island. They will leave in the evening on flights organized by Costa Crociere from Seychelles International airport to Paris, to Milan via Rome, and to Zurich via Vienna. The flights are scheduled to arrive on the morning of March 2nd.

The Company, sincerely sorry for the discomfort caused to Guests but happy to have found them in good health, has offered them a compensation package including:

● a full refund of the fare paid for the cruise and associated travel expenses;
● a full refund of on board expenses incurred during the cruise;
● indemnity equivalent to the amount of the fare paid for the cruise and associated travel costs;
● for Guests who have decided not to continue their holday in the Seychelles at the Company’s expense, a voucher for the same value as the unfinished Costa Allegra cruise, for travel free of charge on any Costa ship departing in the coming 24 months.

  Guests aboard Costa Allegra arrived to Seychelles Islands 627
  Guests returned Home (3 flights) 147
  Guests hosted in Seychelles Islands Hotel 480

Costa Thanks Those Involved

Costa Crociere would like to express its gratitude to the master of Costa Allegra Nicolò Alba and all members of the crew, to the Guests of Costa Allegra, to the master and crew of the French deep sea fishing boat Trevignon, to the other naval and air units involved in the rescue operations of the Costa Allegra, to the Italian Harbour Office General Command, to the local authorities of the Seychelles and Reunion, to the Italian Consulate and Embassy, and to international diplomatic representatives.

Happy Ending?

Clearly this story has a much happier ending than that of her sister ship, Costa Concordia, that ran aground off the Italian cost of Giglio.   That accident had 25 confirmed deaths with several people still unaccounted for.  Both situations could have been much worse.

Passengers and crew of both ships found themselves unexpectedly in the midst of a crisis.  There will be much press around the performance of the crew in both situations.  On the surface, it appears that this second incident was closer to textbook preparation for something like this.  I think it's human nature to feel confident and prepared for the unexpected, but until you are in the midst of an emergency, you really don't know how you or anyone around you will respond to the crisis at hand.

We are happy that there was no serious injury or loss of life connected with this fire and have to commend the passengers and crew for their response to this crisis.

Costa Cruises will now begin the process of investigating the fire and determining the extent of the damages to the ship.   They have made no formal statements about future cruises on Costa Allegra at this time.  We will provide updates on this story as information is released.

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