UK

Norwegian Spirit: Passenger fury as cruise ship misses key stops

Passengers crowd hold signs spelling out "we want refund" Image copyright Cody McNutt

Passengers have told of angry scenes after their luxury cruise ship missed key stops and was left "floating around" at sea for days during a tour of northern Europe.

Furious tourists also complained of blocked toilets and food "going bad" on their two-week "mystical fjords" trip.

They were filmed shouting at crew members and demanding refunds as stops were changed or cancelled altogether.

Norwegian Cruise Line blamed the "revised itinerary" on poor weather.

Passengers who spent about $5,000 USD (£4,000) to travel on the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship described it as "the worst trip of [their] lives".

After failing to stop in Amsterdam and Le Havre, and making an amended stop in Norway, the ship - which can hold more than 2,000 passengers - then abandoned plans to dock in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Instead, it headed for Greenock, around 20 miles northwest of Glasgow, only for passengers to be told that it could not stop there either.

Image copyright Cody McNutt

Katasha Jones, a passenger from the US who left the cruise early, said she was "enraged".

"Half an hour after we were supposed to dock the captain came on and said, 'we will not be docking in Greenock today'," she told BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire programme from Dublin.

"There was just an outrage, a roar, from all the people ready to get off the ship."

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Media captionKatasha and Cody left the ship before the voyage was due to end

Cody McNutt, who was with Ms Jones, described how they had "floated around" for days.

"The food was going bad, the toilet in our room stopped flushing. There were several public toilets that stopped flushing... we were lucky no one got sick, really," he said.

"Then riots broke out on the ship. They pulled out security and they were threatening to arrest several passengers."

Emily Lee, who spoke to the programme while still on the ship, said she was "disappointed" at the change of itinerary, which left them "circling" near Norway.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said the "revised itinerary" was a result of "weather conditions", but that it still allowed the ship to call at eight ports, as opposed to the nine that were originally planned.

"We are very sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment our guests experienced," a statement read.

"We always do our best to provide our guests with a truly enjoyable and memorable vacation, but our very first priority is to ensure their safety and the safety of our crew.

Image copyright Cody McNutt

"We understand that is it disheartening when we are unable to call to ports that our guests have been looking forward to visiting.

"However, we ask for their patience, cooperation and understanding. We do the very most we can to call to ports whenever it is safe to do so.

"Our goal is to showcase the beautiful destinations our ships visit and to provide guests with an onboard experience that is second to none."

The company offered passengers 25% off future cruises, but Mr McNutt said that customers want a full refund.

"It just infuriated people that they would offer us to go on another trip with them after they had done this to us," he said.

Kerry Spencer, editor of the review website Cruise Critic, said hazardous seas and inclement weather can often lead to changes in a cruise liner's itinerary.

But she said it was "rare for a ship to have to drop numerous ports in one stretch in favour of consecutive sea days".