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We’re stranded on a remote African island after cruise ship left us behind & sailed off with all our belongings onboard

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EIGHT passengers have been left stranded on a remote island without their belongings or money after a cruise ship left them behind.

Two Australian and six American tourists were left to fend for themselves on the island of São Tomé in Central Africa.

Eight passengers were left stranded on a remote African island

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Eight passengers were left stranded on a remote African islandCredit: WPDE ABC15
They missed the boarding time for the Cruise Liner after running into a problem

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They missed the boarding time for the Cruise Liner after running into a problemCredit: Getty
They were assisted by the coast guards but still couldn't make it onboard

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They were assisted by the coast guards but still couldn’t make it onboardCredit: WPDE ABC15

The group claims that they were denied entry back to the ship after missing the boarding time by a whisker.

Jill and Jay Campbell, from South Carolina, were travelling with the Norwegian Cruise Line for a 21-day voyage when their peaceful vacation turned into a nightmare.

The couple were enjoying eighth day of their journey when the cruise stopped on the African island on March 27.

The pair, along with six other passengers, embarked on an excursion but ran into a problem that delayed their return to the port.

According to Jill and Jay, a pensioner sustained injuries and suffered a concussion during the guided tour.

As the couple rushed, the guides reassured them that they would get them back in an hour but the hold-up forced them to miss the ship.

As they scrambled to figure out how to get onboard, a coast guard assisted them but the captain refused to take them.

Jay told KSNB4: “We were waiting for the tender boats to come back and get us because our boat was anchored off the harbour, but they didn’t come back to get us so we’re stranded here.”

A spokesperson for the Norwegian Cruise Liner said: “Eight guests who were on the island on a private tour not organized through us missed the last tender back to the vessel, therefore not meeting the all aboard time of 3 p.m. local time.  

“While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily print communication and posted just before exiting the vessel.” 

But not all hope is lost as the cruise company left the passengers’ passports at the port so they could travel to the next destination.

The stranded tourists are now desperately trying to re-board the cruise liner but their attempts have been unsuccessful so far.

Jay and Jill were also the only ones with a credit card while the rest of the passengers were left stranded penniless.

They said they had already coughed up £4,000 for the food and other expenses for the whole group.

Jay added: “We paid a lot for this trip to Africa, so we hope to make it through the rest of this trip and end in Spain.”

The travellers were supposed to re-join the cruise in the next port of call in Gambia on April 1.

But low tides and unfavourable weather conditions prevented the ship from docking safely.

The Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement: “While we share in our guests’ disappointment, this modification was made with great consideration for their safety and that of our crew, which is our top priority.

“We contacted these eight guests regarding this itinerary adjustment and provided them with authorization to rejoin the ship at Dakar, Senegal on April 2, 2024.

“Despite the series of unfortunate events outside of our control, we will be reimbursing these eight guests for their travel costs from Banjur, Gambia to Dakar, Senegal.”

Jill and Jay Campbell said they had to spend £4,000 to cover for the group that's been deserted without their belongings

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Jill and Jay Campbell said they had to spend £4,000 to cover for the group that’s been deserted without their belongingsCredit: Jill and Jay Campbell/WMBF News

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