Cruise ship blockaded in Italy sets sail with birthday Brit couple saved from nightmare
THE cruise ship carrying 6,000 passengers has this evening set sail from Civitavecchia, near Rome, after being blockaded over coronavirus fears.
Tests from the 54-year-old Chinese woman from Macau who fell ill with flu-like symptoms this week have confirmed she is not carrying the deadly infection, which has claimed over 200 lives so far.
She was put into quarantine with her husband while Civitavecchia mayor Ernesto Tedesco refused to allow any passengers to disembark from 8am on Thursday morning until Friday morning.
British cruise passenger Philip Hinkley, 53, was sailing around the Med on the Costa Smeralda ship with his girlfriend to celebrate both their birthdays.
The celebration however soon turned into a nightmare when staff informed passengers they would be quarantined on the ship until arriving in Barcelona – missing out all stops on the way.
“Staff have told me we cannot disembark until Barcelona which will be on Monday, even though some of the passengers were supposed to get off today,” Philip, who lives in Javea, told Benidorm Reviews on Thursday night.
The veteran cruise traveller said it was not the first disaster he’d been involved in, as three years ago a cruise ship travelling round Australia broke down in the Tasmanian sea and had to be towed by tugs back to shore.
Just after 6pm this evening, Philip informed Benidorm Reviews the ship was now ‘pulling out of port’ after passengers had been allowed to disembark all day.
He said the passengers will only miss ‘one stop’ following the scare that caused an international media sensation.
Next stop is Savona – all the best on your double birthday!