“Aurora” round-the-world cruise ends short and with compensation demand
The stricken cruise ship Aurora has arrived back in Britain amid the threat of legal action from passengers, reports The Daily Telegraph. Engine trouble forced the ship to miss out three ports in New Zealand and two in the Pacific Islands on the £16,000 per passenger round-the-world trip.
It meant passengers for 22 days of the 93-day trip, passengers visited just two ports. P&O said passengers will receive compensation including £500 and a refund of the cost of four days' cruising. But the protest group - dubbed the Aurora Committee - is threatening to sue the company for compensation.
It is just the latest in a history of failings and bad luck for the ship after the naming ceremony bottle failed to smash.
Speaking after disembarking in Southampton, Hants, committee member Jennifer Dunthorne, 63, said: I have just retired and this cruise is not something that I could afford to do again - it was a once in a lifetime chance to see some amazing places.
We paid a lot of money for this cruise - some people even said they had saved for 20 years. There were people spending wedding anniversaries onboard and their cruise was ruined.
Problems on the 76,000-ton Aurora began within hours of leaving Sydney Harbour last month when it developed engine problems. The ship limped to Auckland, New Zealand, where the 1.736 passengers were told each day for six days that the ship could not leave port. This meant missing out on stops at Wellington, Napier, Bay of Islands, and Moorea and Tahiti in French Polynesia.
A spokeswoman for P&O said: In recognition of this we have since offered a compensation package which we believe to be a fair reflection of the disruption to the cruise”.
According to the Telegraph on her maiden voyage, passengers were compensated a total of £6 million after the ship broke down in the Bay of Biscay and had to return to port. In 2003 the norovirus bug affected a high number of passengers.
And in January 2005 P&O cancelled a much-delayed world cruise because of propulsion system problems on the 200 million pounds ship. Last year hundreds of passengers had to undergo tests on board Aurora to see whether they had contracted a deadly strain of hepatitis.