Stricken cruise ship the Costa Allegra reached the Seychelles’ main port today, after three days at sea without power.
The Seychelles Red Cross has set up several tents at Victoria to assist any passengers needing help and tour operators waited with buses ready to take passengers to either the airport or a Seychelles resort. The process is expected to take several hours.
The Costa Allegra has been at sea with more than 1,000 people on board and without electricity since a fire in the generator room on Monday.
There are no toilets, showers or lights. The cause of the fire was unknown.
A French fishing vessel has been towing the cruise ship to safety.
``It happened in quite an isolated spot so it took quite a while to get back here,'' said British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes as he waited for the boat, carrying 31 Britons, to dock.
Travel agents flocked to the port, waiting to help passengers ashore.
“The focus of the operation is to get them a warm meal and a shower,” said Guillaume Albert, head of Creole Travel Service. “I think the happy ending is the people coming off the boat.”
The average age of passengers was 55, he said.
The fire came only six weeks after the Costa Concordia, owned by the same company, hit a reef and capsized off Italy, killing 25 people and leaving seven missing and presumed dead. No-one was injured in the fire Monday.
The Allegra, whose Italian name means “merry” or “happy”, left northern Madagascar, off Africa’s south-east coast, on Saturday and was cruising towards Port Victoria when the fire erupted.
The liner was carrying 413 crew members and 627 passengers, including 212 Italians, the 31 Britons and eight Americans.