The Seychelles government has confirmed that they been informed by Costa Cruises representatives that have arrived in the country, and that the cruise ship, the Costa Allegra, has changed their navigation plans. Costa Cruises informed that in view of extensive and accurate checks carried out with local maritime experts’ support, in order to ensure the safety of their guests onboard, the disembarkation on Desroches island in the Seychelles cannot be performed and, therefore, it has been decided that the ship will be towed to Port Victoria on Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles.
Costa Cruises said that the disembarkation on Desroches island did not assure the necessary and adequate security conditions for mooring the ship and guests’ disembarkation. In addition, logistics and hotels on the island are not enough: it would require, an immediate transfer from Desroches island to Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles through ferries after disembarking the ship through tenders.
“Thus the ship will be towed to Mahe with the assistance of two tugs that are approaching the ship and that would allow to increase the speed,” Costa Cruises representatives said. The arrival in Port Victoria on Mahé in the Seychelles is currently expected during the morning (local time) on Thursday, March 1. It has also been reported that helicopters from the Seychelles will ensure a continuous supply of food, comfort items, and flashlights in order to mitigate guests’ discomfort, given the difficult conditions on board.
Costa Cruises is working with all the Seychelles authorities responsible for the coordination of the emergency, to ensure the best possible assistance to all their guests and make their discomfort as short as possible and to reach their next destination. The company has said that they are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience, and that their absolute priority is to make it as short as possible.
From Seychelles, it is also reported that the islands are assisting the process of helping the disabled cruise ship to get to Port Victoria. Arrangements are being made for hotel accommodation, transfers to international flights, and other necessary services upon the ship’s arrival at Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles.
The Seychelles Coast Guard ship, Andromache, has reached the Costa Allegra, as well as a Seychelles air force plane, and together with the two tugs of the Seychelles Ports Authority, they are escorting the Costa Allegra to Port Victoria.
Expected time of arrival is between late evening on Wednesday and early morning on Thursday, depending on the sea conditions.
“The Seychelles Tourism Board, the ship’s agent, and the Destination Management Companies (DMCs) handling the passengers of the Costa Allegra are all working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Transport to ensure the safety of all passengers and their welfare. We are a tourism destination, and we have to ensure that every visitor to our islands receives that same Seychellois Creole welcome and feeling,” Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said to international news agencies.