Approximately 2,000 passengers set off for a two-week Mystical Fjords tour on 27 September on board Norwegian Cruise Line’s luxury vessel Norwegian Spirit that included excursions in France, Amsterdam, Norway and Iceland.
However, due to adverse weather conditions, the cruise encountered unforeseen problems along the way, resulting in the itinerary having to be dramatically changed at the last minute.
The ship was firstly unable to stop at to dock in Le Havre or Amsterdam reportedly due to high winds and was therefore rerouted to Norway in the hope that passengers would still be able to see the spectacular Norwegian fjords, which was the main purpose of the trip.
Unfortunately, the small Norwegian town where it docked was closed to tourists, so guests were unable to leave the ship.
Norwegian Spirit next made its way to Iceland, but a stop in Reykjavik had to be cancelled and replaced with a trip to Greenock, near Glasgow.
However, the ship was refused permission to dock there on Monday morning, and the captain made the decision to sail to Belfast instead.
A spokesman for Norwegian Cruise Line has said: “Norwegian Spirit was forced to cancel her call to Greenock due to weather conditions as well as a delay caused by a departing Navy vessel that experienced a technical malfunction.”
As a result of the missed ports and having to stay on board for three days with none of the scheduled excursions met, this led passengers to protest in the middle of the ship’s atrium demanding refunds for the £5,300 cruise. Once docked at Belfast, many passengers decided to abandon ship and make their own way back to London.
Norwegian Cruise Line has apologised to all passengers on board and stated how the company’s “first priority is to ensure their [passengers] safety and the safety of our crew”. The cruise line has also issued a 25 per cent voucher for a future cruise.
“Unfortunately, Norwegian Spirit’s itinerary was impacted by weather conditions. While nine ports of call were originally planned for the voyage, the revised itinerary allowed the ship to call to 8 ports. We are very sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment our guests experienced. As such, we made the decision to offer a 25 per cent future cruise credit.
“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. We understand that IT IS 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.”