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Wednesday 8 November 2023

When a cruise turns into a nightmare

It was supposed to be a leisurely late autumn European cruise.

It didn't work out that way.

Around 100 people were injured on board a Saga cruise ship this week after storms off the coasts of France and Spain.

Fortunately, none of the injuries were thought to be serious and Saga said only five people needed medical treatment, Travel Mole reported.

The Spirit of Discovery, carrying over 1000 people, had cancelled its last port of call in Las Palmas with predictions for an imminent storm. It then headed for La Coruna, where the port was closed.

In rough seas, Spirit of Discovery's propulsion safety system was activated, causing it to veer suddenly to the left, bringing the vessel to a sudden halt. Passengers were thrown around.  

Spirit of Discovery was on a round-trip voyage to the Canary Islands from Portsmouth when severe weather hit in the Bay of Biscay.

The ship had departed the UK on October 24 on a 14-night ‘Canary Island Quintet’ cruise.

“While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected,” Saga said in a statement.

“Spirit of Discovery has arrived safely back in port and all passengers have disembarked and are on their way home.

"We have apologised to all our guests who experienced such difficult weather conditions; we know that this was a very distressing experience for them.

"We operate to the highest health and safety protocols and every decision was made based on advice from the ship’s Master and forecasts from our dedicated marine meteorologists.

"We did everything we could at all times to keep our guests as safe as possible and to support them through the storm, including expert medical attention for those injured. I want to thank our guests for their patience and understanding and all our crew, who went over and above to care for everyone onboard."

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