Some seven hundred passengers are being air evacuated back to the UK on Monday 4th July after a fire on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 1970's Black Watch Cruise Ship.
Update SUNDAY 15:00hrs -- Fred. Olsen has chartered three aircraft departing from Funchal Madeira to London Stansted and London Gatwick airports, which will depart Monday, 4 July 2016).
The cruise line will be assisting with transfer arrangements for onward destinations...
Special arrangements have been made for passengers who are unable to fly for medical reasons, Fred.Olsen said in a statement issued Sunday. Those Passengers remain accommodated on the ship, where an advice desk has been set up and the cabin telephones are available free of charge to passengers to enable them to contact relatives in the UK.
The cruise line has also confirmed all passengers will receive a refund of the whole of the cruise fare, in addition "any reasonable out of pocket expenses connected with the curtailment of their holidays".
Fred. Olsen will also offer a future cruise voucher of up to 50 per cent of the fare paid for this cruise, to be used within its current cruise programme.
Some seven hundred passengers are being flown home on Monday 4th July after a fire on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Black Watch.
The fire started early Friday morning in the engine room and later extinguished by crew fire teams. No injuries reported. Captain Henrik Mattsson said the passengers “are in good spirits” (!).
According to a media statement, the fire damaged 3 out of 7 auxiliary engines, used to generate electrical power on the ship.
“There has been some cabling damage on board, which is affecting lighting and communications, but other services are working,
However, cabling damage has prevented the other two main engines from operating, and it is anticipated that the repairs will cause disruption to guests during the recabling. Therefore, we have made the decision -- in the best interests of guests’ comfort to fly them home from Funchal, at Fred. Olsen’s expense.”
The two main engines were later restored to full power and the ship continued to its next scheduled port of call, Funchal, Madeira.
“We are hopeful that all four main engines will be under way shortly,” Fred.Olsen said in an updated statement posted on its website. “The weather conditions are good and sea conditions calm. We will continue to work to restore full auxiliary power on board.”
Mike Rodwell, the company's managing director, and a support team of senior executives were expected to join the ship in Funchal to assist the 696 mostly British passengers and 365 crew.
Passengers will be compensated for “loss of enjoyment and facilities during the power outage”.
Launched in 1972, Black Watch was on a 13-night ‘Portuguese Island & Cities’ cruise that departed Dover on 25 June.
“We hope that Black Watch will be able to undertake her next cruise from Tilbury on 8 July 2016 -- as scheduled,” the line said.
Source: Press statement, Reuters
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