Date
18 November 2017
Some passengers on a Costa Victoria cruise are demanding refunds after their trip was rerouted from Japan to Hong Kong. Photo: Apple Daily
Some passengers on a Costa Victoria cruise are demanding refunds after their trip was rerouted from Japan to Hong Kong. Photo: Apple Daily

Cruise-goers demand refund for port call switch mid-trip

Hundreds of angry Hong Kong and Taiwan holidaymakers have demanded a refund after their six-day Costa Victoria cruise to Japan was rerouted to Hong Kong without warning to avoid a typhoon, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

The cruise ship set off Monday from Taiwan’s Keelung Harbor and was supposed to head for Kagoshima and Nagasaki in Japan. But, with Super Typhoon Neoguri moving toward Japan, the operator decided to send the vessel to Hong Kong.

Many of the 1,800 or so passengers on board were angered by the switch, saying operator Costa Crociere S.p.A. knew the typhoon was coming but still went along with the trip.

One woman from Hong Kong said the passengers — most of whom were from Taiwan — questioned whether the trip should be cancelled because of the typhoon but the operator insisted. Then, early Tuesday morning, some passengers realized the cruise liner was heading south instead of north and the typhoon was causing strong winds and high waves, she said. Passengers asked the operator to dock in Kaohsiung in Taiwan but the suggestion was rejected.

The passengers stayed in Hong Kong for two days and were set to leave for Taiwan Thursday.

The holidaymakers paid between HK$8,000 (US$1,032.23) and HK$10,000 each for the trip. Some had started collecting signatures for a petition demanding a refund of at least NT$5,000 (US$166.43) per person.

The operator did not confirm if it would pay compensation, saying only the destination change was made on safety grounds.

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TL/AC/SK

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