Costa Allegra arrives at port in Seychelles | News | DW | 01.03.2012
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Costa Allegra arrives at port in Seychelles

The Costa Allegra cruise liner has docked on the main island of the Seychelles, days after it was stranded because of a fire that cut the ship's power.

The Italian cruise liner that was stranded in the Indian Ocean arrived at port in the Seychelles on Thursday, three days after a fire onboard left the vessel without power.

The Seychelles Red Cross had prepared several tents to administer medical care to passengers, and representatives of the British, Italian and French governments stood by to assist their citizens.

Gordon Bradwell, a 72-year-old American leaving the ship with his wife, said while the experience "could have been disastrous ... We're here, we're alive."

Tour operators had buses waiting to take passengers to the airport or a resort in the Seychelles, a small island nation some 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) off southeast Africa. The company said 376 out of 627 passengers had accepted their offer to continue their vacation in the Seychelles at the firm's expense, while the rest had opted to be flown home.

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Costa Allegra reaches the Seychelles

The more than 1,000 passengers and crew on the Costa Allegra have been onboard without working toilets, showers, lights or air conditioning since a fire in the generator room killed the ship's power. The cause of the fire is unknown.

"It happened in quite an isolated spot so it took quite a while to get back here," said British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes on Thursday.

A French tuna fishing boat and two tug boats have been towing the ship to Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles.

The Costa Allegra is owned by the same company as the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast in January, killing 32 people.

acb/dfm (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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