Skip to main content

Disabled Italian cruise ship slowly nearing Seychelles

By Dan Rivers, CNN
updated 11:06 AM EST, Wed February 29, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Costa Allegra is being towed and should arrive Thursday, its owner says
  • Passengers and crew are using mineral water for washing, Costa says
  • An engine room fire on Monday left the cruise liner without propulsion
  • Its fleet mate, the Costa Concordia, shipwrecked last month, killing at least 21

Are you there? Send us your video and stories

Port Victoria, Seychelles (CNN) -- The cruise ship Costa Allegra, disabled two days ago by an engine room fire, is due to arrive in the Seychelles Thursday, Costa Cruises said Wednesday.

Passengers and crew will be put on planes and sent home almost immediately, the Indian Ocean nation's tourism chief said.

Costa Cruises said it had secured 600 plane tickets and 400 hotel rooms.

There are more than 1,000 people on the Allegra.

Costa Cruises suffers new crisis

With power out, they are using mineral water for washing, Costa said. They have a supply of cold food including fruit, cheese and cold cuts, and fresh bread is being flown to the ship by helicopter, the company said.

A large French fishing ship began towing the liner to port on Tuesday.

A Seychelles Coast Guard ship reached the Costa Allegra later in the day, along with two tugboats from the Seychelles Ports Authority, said Seychelles presidential spokeswoman Srdjana Janosevic. The ship was being escorted to Port Victoria, the Seychelles capital, she said.

The Allegra lost power in the Indian Ocean Monday with 636 passengers on board and a crew of 413, according to Costa Cruises. Most of the passengers are from Europe, but eight are from the United States and 13 are from Canada.

Costa initially said Tuesday the ship was expected to arrive Wednesday at the Seychelles island of Desroches, but said later that after "extensive and accurate checks," passengers could not get off on Desroches.

The ship is instead being towed to the Seychelles island of Mahe, where Port Victoria is located, the cruise line said.

"The disembarkation in Desroches does not assure the necessary and adequate security conditions for mooring the ship and guests' disembarkation," the cruise line said in a statement. "In addition, logistics and hotels on the island are not enough; it would require an immediate transfer from Desroches to Mahe through ferries."

The ship departed from Diego Suarez, Madagascar, on Saturday and was originally scheduled to arrive in the Seychelles Tuesday.

The Allegra is a fleet mate of the Costa Concordia, which wrecked off the coast of Italy on January 13, killing at least 21 people.

CNN's Zain Verjee, Vladimir Duthiers and Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Italy cruise ship disaster
updated 12:14 PM EST, Thu January 19, 2012
Thrust from obscurity to notoriety overnight, Capt. Francesco Schettino is the man at the center of the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster.
updated 5:52 PM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
Chaos and a lack of communication plagued the evacuation, and getting to shore was only the beginning of a long ordeal.
updated 11:39 AM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
The shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner can now be seen from space, lying on its side off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio.
updated 7:47 PM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
No matter how technologically advanced a cruise ship may be, passenger safety still depends on the captain's ability to make good decisions
updated 6:25 PM EST, Mon January 16, 2012
Meteorologist Alexandra Steele looks at the critical moments along the Costa Concordia's ill-fated route.
updated 7:30 PM EST, Sun January 15, 2012
At first, Vivian Shafer said, she thought it was part of the magic show aboard her Mediterranean cruise.
updated 6:11 AM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
CNN's Christine Romans looks at the logistics of hauling away the grounded cruise liner Costa Concordia, and what will happen to the ship next.
updated 7:13 AM EST, Mon January 16, 2012
CNN's John Vause explains how the Costa Concordia ended up running aground off the coast of Giglio Island, Italy.
updated 8:36 AM EST, Mon January 16, 2012
The disaster that wrecked a luxury cruise liner and has left maritime officials and experts on searching for answers -- fast.
Send CNN iReport your videos and photos. Please take care and do not put yourself or others in danger.
updated 9:12 PM EST, Sat January 14, 2012
CNN's Ralitsa Vassileva speaks with a passenger whose honeymoon was interrupted by the cruise ship disaster in Italy.
updated 3:32 AM EST, Tue January 17, 2012
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has warned that if oil leaks from the stricken cruiser it could cause an environmental disaster.
updated 9:43 AM EST, Mon January 16, 2012
Dan Rivers reports on the capsizing of a cruise liner after it apparently hitting a reef close to Italy's coast.
ADVERTISEMENT