“Mutiny” on cruise ship leads to ejection

A French passenger was thrown off cruise ship Costa Neoriviera (IMO 9172777) in the Indian Ocean for staging a “mutiny” on the cruise after it was announced that two island stops around the Vanilla islands of Madagascar would be cancelled, adding to previously announced stop cancellations. The captain gave customers €150 in ship credits as recompense.

Two days into the trip the captain had announced that three stop-offs around Madagascar would be cancelled due to plague on the island. Passengers were told the next day that two more stops were cancelled and that the ship would not be going to Mauritius either.

French chef Alain Jan, who boarded the vessel with his wife on Réunion on October 26th, said that the vessel had become a “floating prison”. Mr Jan felt that he failed to receive an adequate response from the crew and launched a petition. He also organized a protest in the restaurant. When the captain refused to change course, passengers staged a second protest in a theatre just as the boat was nearing the Seychelles.

The captain then rang the local police chief who came on board. At this point Jan asked to speak to the French ambassador. Instead the policeman asked the captain if he wanted to disembark anyone and the captain pointed at Jan, who was then taken off the boat with his wife. They were given two nights in a hotel in the Seychelles and then flown home at Costa’s expense. Jan and others alleged that Costa had known of plague cases for months but had deliberately hidden the change of programme from passengers beforehand. Costa Cruises denied the claim, stating the company made every effort to maintain the stop-offs on Madagascar, looking into all the alternatives. On November 10th the ship berthed at Port Louis.

1999-built, Italy-flagged, 48,200 gt Costa Neoriviera is owned and managed by Costa Crociere of Genoa, Italy. ISM manager is Carnival Maritime GmbH of Hamburg, Germany.

It is entered with Assuranceforeningen Gard – gjensidig on behalf of Costa Crociere, with Steamship Mutual (Smuab) (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of Costa Crociere and with UK P&I Club (area group Americas G7) on behalf of Costa Crociere.