Passengers on the stricken Costa Allegra cruise ship have stepped on dry land in the Seychelles after being stranded for three days without power in the Indian Ocean.
More than 1,000 passengers and crew members are safely off the Costa Allegra after it was towed into the Seychelles’ main port by a French fishing boat.
British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes was at the port of Victoria to greet 31 British citizens who were among the 627 passengers aboard the Italian ship.
The Costa Allegra was at sea for three days without electricity after a fire broke out in the generator room on Monday.
No one was injured in the fire, but passengers endured extreme temperatures and had to cope without washing facilities or hot food.
Read more from Channel 4 News: How safe are cruise ships?
With no functioning air-conditioning, most of the passengers had to stay on deck to keep cool, while helicopters dropped off supplies.
The Seychelles Red Cross set up several tents at Victoria to assist with first aid, while tour operators had buses ready to take passengers to the airport or on to resorts on the island.
It is understood around 370 passengers chose to continue their holiday in the Seychelles, while the others were being flown to Rome.
“The focus of the operation is to get them a warm meal and a shower,” said Guillaume Albert, head of Seychelles-based Creole Travel Services.
He added: “I think the happy ending is the people coming off the boat.”
The Allegra, which means “merry” or “happy” in Italian, left northern Madagascar, off Africa’s southeast coast, on Saturday and was cruising toward Port Victoria when the fire broke out.