Two Aussies Are Among Guests Abandoned On An African Island By A Cruise Line In Wild Drama


Two Australians are among a group of nine guests who have accused a cruise line of completely abandoning them on an African island with no credit cards, medication or communication after they were late in returning to their ship. This makes the nine-month cruise drama look tame.

The group, which includes a pregnant woman, four elderly people and someone who is paraplegic, are scrambling across the continent in an attempt to reboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, after they were left behind at São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea.

According to Jill and Jay Campbell — two Americans who were with the Australian guests — it wasn’t their fault that they were late in returning to the Norwegian Dawn from their day trip, because their tour guides assured them they’d be back in time.

“They were like: ‘No problem, we can get you back [to the ship] within an hour,’” Jay told ABC 4 News South Carolina.

Jay said his group contacted the ship to let the crew know they were running behind, and were relieved to find the ship was still anchored off shore when they returned — but for some reason, they weren’t allowed to board.

Jay and Jill were with the Australian pair who were abandoned by Norwegian Cruise Lines. Image: Jay and Jill Campbell.

“The harbour master tried to call the ship, the captain refused the call,” Jay said.

“We sent emails to NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line), the NCL customer service emergency number, they said ‘Well, the only way for us to get in touch with the ship is to send them emails, they’re not responding to our emails.’”

Jay said the island’s coast guard actually put them on a boat and sailed them to the cruise ship themselves so they could get back on, only for the crew to refuse them permission to board.

An elderly woman who was hospitalised was also abandoned by the cruise line. Image: Jay and Jill Campbell.

After returning back to the Island, Jay and Jill found an 80-year-old fellow cruiser who was also abandoned. She had been hospitalised briefly after an incident on the tour, and claims Norwegian Cruise Lines failed to call her emergency contact and instead left her on the island without any of her belongings, including her money and medication.

The others who were abandoned also claim they weren’t given any of their belongings — only their passports. Because Jay and Jill were the only ones with their money already on them, they’ve been paying for the entire group’s accommodation and travel.

The couple have also claimed the cruise has not been in contact with them, and that they’ve effectively been left to fend for themselves.

However, Norwegian Cruise Lines denies this.

“When the guests did not return to the vessel at the all aboard time, their passports were delivered to the local port agents to retrieve when they returned to the port,” it said in a statement.

“While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel.”

The company said that despite what the Campbells claim, it is communicating with them, and also working with location authorities to help them obtain visas and other things they might need to travel across the continent and return to the ship.

Ultimately though, it stands by its actions — if you’re late, that’s your problem I guess.