Passengers revolt when NCL ship changes course mid-voyage

Norwegian Star revolt
By Linsey McNeill
16/02/2024
Home » Passengers revolt when NCL ship changes course mid-voyage

Passengers on a Norwegian Cruise Line voyage had to be calmed by security staff after protesting when the ship was re-routed mid-voyage.

Norwegian Star was due to call at Paradise Bay near the Antarctica mainland during a 14-night cruise from Buenos Aires, but instead it changed course to sail 200 miles north to Admiralty Bay, near Antartica’s South Shetland Islands.

In a TikTok post, a passenger using the account name @ruinedvacatiion complained that passengers weren’t aware of the change of itinerary until after the ship set sail.

She claimed in her online video that NCL had ‘secretly’ changed the name of the cruise on its app from ‘Antarctica and South America’ to ‘A round trip South America’.

When she spotted the change and asked for an explanation, she said customer services informed her the change had been made before the ship set sail ‘for operational reasons’. She and dozens of passengers then arranged to meet at the customer service desk at 9.30am the following morning.

Posting footage of the crowd the next day, @ruinedvacation said:  “Customer service are refusing to acknowledge us. They’ve sent a security officer out to calm us down but we just refuse to be told ‘sorry we’re not going and we’re not going to give you reasons’.

The poster said passengers felt they were being ‘cheated and scammed’. Later in the video, an indistinct voice is heard shouting, which @ruinedvacation said was the security officer ‘telling everyone to calm down’.

In a statement, NCL told Travel Gossip: We are committed to providing exceptional vacation experiences, both aboard our ships and by taking our guests to some of the most sought-out destinations around the world.  While we try to maintain original itineraries as much as possible, at times modifications are made to optimize the itinerary or to accommodate certain circumstances.

To enhance the guest experience, the ship’s current itinerary was revised to allow more time for guests to explore Stanley, Falkland Islands.  As such, the cruise by Paradise Bay, Antarctica was replaced with a cruise by Admiralty Bay, Antarctica.” 

The cruise line had earlier told US news channel ABC that ‘due to a recent regulatory requirement in the area, the ship is operating at a reduced speed, also impacting its original itinerary’.

In an updated TikTok posted three days later from the deck of the cruise ship with Elephant Island in the background, @ruinedvacation said 2,500 passengers ‘who paid to go to Antartica mainland’ were ‘still devastated’ at the changed itinerary.

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