Angry passengers onboard P&O’s Aurora have staged a revolt after mechanical problems led the luxury cruise vessel to visit only two ports in 22 days.
Passengers, who each paid up to £40,000, described the round-the-world voyage as being in “prison” after P&O Cruises was forced to cut five stops due to engine failure, including three ports in New Zealand and two in French Polynesia.P&O said passengers will receive compensation including £500 and a refund of the cost of four days’ cruising.
But more than 600 passengers on the 93-night cruise attended an emergency meeting and formed a protest committee that is now threatening legal action to compensate for the cruise.
It is just the latest in a history of failings and bad luck for the ship after the naming ceremony bottle failed to smash.
Committee member Jennifer Dunthorne said: “This failure to visit three ports in New Zealand and two Pacific Islands has turned this cruise ship into a prison for some.
“Only visiting two ports in 22 days is not what I saved for 20 years to do. This beautiful ship which has been the pride of the P&O fleet has become a red hot bed of distress, frustration and anger,” she added.
Aurora has had a chequered history since her launch in 2000, starting with the champagne bottle failing to break at its naming ceremony. The £200 million vessel broke down in the Bay of Biscay on her maiden voyage with passengers compensated £6 million.
Last year passengers had to undergo tests on board Aurora to see whether they had contracted a strain of hepatitis. A health probe was launched after seven passengers tested positive for hepatitis E.