© Wikimedia PHOTO: Costa neoRiviera was the scene of what could be called a passenger mutiny. (photo via Wikimedia Commons/Piergiuliano Chesi) A Frenchman was escorted off a cruise in the Indian Ocean after staging multiple protests against the captain and crew.
According to The Telegraph, 53-year-old Alain Jan and some other passengers aboard Costa Cruises' Costa neoRiviera became upset after several planned stops were canceled due to the threat of bubonic and pneumonic plague outbreak in Madagascar last month.
The Washington Post reported the outbreak has infected about 1,800 people and killed at least 127 others in the African nation.
"We said OK, it's for health reasons and anyway there were two other excursions left in Nosy Be and Diego Suarez," Jan told French newspaper, Le Parisien.
However, passengers learned later on that two other stops would be canceled. The cruise line compensated them with $175 to spend onboard the ship.
"That evening, we organized a protest in the restaurant. There were 60 of us banging our fists on the table to alert other cruise passengers to this con job," said Jan.
Passengers staged a second protest in the ship's theater before the captain alerted local police in the Seychelles.
Jan and his wife were escorted off of the ship for making "violent protests" and "disturbing the cruise." They spent two nights in a hotel in the Seychelles before flying home. Costa Cruises paid for the couple's flight.
"That's how I was freed from the floating prison," Jan said.
Costa Cruises defended its decision to cancel the three Madagascar stops as well as two others in Nosy Be and Diego Suarez.
"The company made every effort to maintain the stop-offs on Madagascar, looking into all the alternatives," the cruise line said in a statement, adding that "security, health and well-being of passengers and crew are an absolute priority."
"Given the delays that [quarantine] would have created, and even longer ones if there were any suspect cases on board, and considering that passengers were already on board, the company was forced to restrict its trip to the Seychelles and Reunion."
Passengers have been reimbursed for canceled excursions in Madagascar and those traveling on future sailings have been informed of the itinerary changes.
Earlier this month, Costa Cruises was awarded the best Mediterranean itineraries in the industry by Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.
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