Cruise passengers revolt after dream voyage swaps Iceland for Belfast

Emma Featherstone
Norwegian Spirit, which can carry over 2,000 passengers C - © NCL Unlimited Usage

What was supposed to be dream cruise to the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland has for some passengers turned into a "nightmare" holiday of missed ports and organised protests.

Guests on board the 2,016 passenger Norwegian Spirit had forked out up to £5,300 for a  “Mystical Fjords” voyage from Southampton, which promised visits to the natural wonders of Norway and Iceland and cultural stops in Amsterdam and Ireland. 

Norwegian Spirit set sail from Southampton on September 27, but problems began shortly after when a call in Amsterdam was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Instead the ship carried onto Norway but, according to passengers, stopped in a “deserted” town that was shut to tourists.

Next, a call in Reykjavik, Iceland was also cancelled and replaced with an unscheduled stop in Greenock, the cruise port for Glasgow. However, when the ship was denied permission to dock in Greenock it carried on to Belfast

Due to these missed ports, the ship was reportedly at sea for three days. Those on board, including British and American travellers, spoke of stale food and overflowing toilets.

Cody McNutt was among those on board and recorded footage of the protests (above), which shows concerned-looking passengers lining up to question cruise ship staff.

The passengers were reportedly told to “call the Miami office”.

Denna Rowland from Taunton, Somerset, told Mail Online: “There are a lot of angry people on this ship and the lack of adequate explanation as to what's going on almost caused a riot this morning.

Reykjavik, Iceland was one of the missed ports Credit: Getty

“It's been a nightmare of a holiday, and now many of the toilets in the cabins are overflowing with sewage. It's really not my idea of a luxury cruise break.”

A photograph from the voyage shows guests lining up in a public area of the ship to spell out “NCL we want a refund” with a makeshift sign.

Tensions clearly escalated with one video from the voyage showing passengers chanting “get us off this ship.”

In another, two male passengers angrily confront a crew member.

The two-week itinerary was scheduled to include stops in the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Northern Ireland and Ireland. While some passengers left the ship in Belfast, others are still on board the vessel, which is due to return to Southampton on October 11.

Norwegian Cruise Line has offered passengers 25 per cent future cruise credit.

A spokesperson for Norwegian said: “Unfortunately, Norwegian Spirit’s itinerary was impacted by weather conditions. While nine ports of call were originally planned for the voyage, the revised itinerary allowed the ship to call to eight ports.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience and disappointment our guests experienced... We always do our best to provide our guests with a truly enjoyable and memorable vacation, but our very first priority is to ensure their safety and the safety of our crew.”

Norwegian Spirit includes 17 dining options, a theatre, casino, nightclub and observation lounge.

A 14-night Mystical Fjords cruise on board Norwegian Spirit starts from £1,719 for two people sharing an inside cabin rising to a starting price of £5,179 for a suite.

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