St Helena Online

Tag: cruise ships

Arcadia passenger questions P&O’s intentions

Arcadia lies off shore, viewed down Main Street, Jamestown
Arcadia lies off shore, viewed down Main Street

Messages of disappointment continue to reach St Helena Online regarding the failure of P&O Cruises to allow passengers ashore in “millpond” conditions when the Arcadia called at the island in April 2012.

The latest is from Diana Rainham, of Essex, UK, in response to coverage of the debacle. She writes:

“I was on the Arcadia and we were told previously that the communications were poor. The rumours were going round the ship were that St Helena was a ‘touch and go’ situation. The passengers were warned that any high waves would mean that we wouldn’t go ashore.

“Our view from the ship was not of high waves. There were a lot of elderly passengers but also a lot of middle-aged 35- to 50-year-olds, and the crew and entertainment staff were mainly in their 20s.

“The Arcadia used tenders to dock at Bali when the sea was the same if not more wavey.

“A lot of the passengers were very unappy with the situation. P&O should not have advertised St Helena as a port of call if they had no intention to dock there.

“I am so gutted I missed the chance to visit the beautiful island, have a drink in the Consulate, the Standard and the White Horse, buy some stamps and maybe even attempt Jacob’s Ladder.”

P&O Cruises have ignored previous requests to acknowledge the losses and inconvenience suffered by islanders. Another request will be made.


Island loses ‘£100,000′, but P&O declines to express regret

Arcadia victim apologises to Saints for wasted welcome

Arcadia lies off shore, viewed down Main Street, Jamestown
Arcadia lies off shore, viewed down Main Street, Jamestown

Cruise passengers continue to express their anger at ship’s officers on board the MV Arcadia who decided a “millpond sea” was too dangerous for them to be allowed to go ashore at St Helena.

Now one disgruntled victim of the decision has apologised to islanders for their wasted efforts to lay on a traditional St Helena welcome for hundreds of passengers who denied the chance to visit the island.

A St Helena Online reader signing himself “Jackall” has sent the following message:

“We were aboard Arcadia and like every other passenger on board were excited about visiting the island.

“We were astonished when we were told we were not going ashore. Personally I may never get the chance to visit St Helena again and feel so cheated.

“I would like to apologise on behalf of the passengers who were never made aware by P&O of all the trouble and expense you went to, to make our visit memorable. We are so sorry.”

P&O Cruises has ignored several requests to acknowledge the frustration of islanders who took days off, spent time and money preparing food for visitors, or insured vehicles to use as taxis.

Johnny Clingham’s St Helena Community website now has links to an online forum that charts continuing dissatisfaction with P&O Cruises. Read it here.


Island loses ‘£100,000′, but P&O declines to express regret

Shame on you, P&O – passenger’s anger over failure to land

The owners of the cruise ship MV Arcadia continue to ignore complaints about the captain’s refusal to allow its passengers to go ashore at St Helena in April 2012.

St Helena Tourism Association has written to P&O Cruises to point out the heavy losses suffered by islanders for the baffling failure, given the tranquil sea conditions on the day. It has received no response.

St Helena Online also received no acknowledgement of the Saint’s disappointment, despite several requests.

Passengers who were stranded on board for the otherwise “tedious” journey north from Walvis Bay have also vented their frustration in letters to the St Helena Independent and complaints to the company.

Johnny Clingham’s St Helena Community Portal now has links to an online forum that charts continuing dissatisfaction. Read it here.

Island loses ‘£100,000′, but P&O declines to express regret

St Helena cruise passengers stranded in the cold

Tour ship Plancius with an ice cliff behind
Plancius was meant to be headed for the tropics (picture: Inezia Tours / Pieter van den Luit)

A tourist ship that was meant to be headed for St Helena and her sister islands is stranded instead at South Georgia, waiting for rescue.

Another vessel has left Ushuaia in Argentina to take off the 73 passengers and some of the expedition staff and crew of the MV Plancius. “There is no threat to life or environment,” said a statement from the owners.

The ship’s main propulsion system malfuntioned, leaving it with reduced power.

The web promotion for the 39-day Atlantic Odyssey said it offered “a unique possibility to visit several of the remotest islands in the world.

“Besides the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands, the Atlantic Odyssey visits Tristan da Cunha, St Helena, Ascension Island and Cape Verde. Isolated local communities can be visited.”

A statement from Oceanwide Expeditions said: “The spirit on board is – given the circumstances – good  and passengers indulge in local walks and an excursion programme organized by expedition staff.

“The ship has only very limited sailing capabilities (maximum 4-5 knots in calm conditions), which means the vessel will not be able maintain course in rough seas of the open ocean.”

A tug is due to reach the Plancius at Grytviken on 17 April 2012 and tow it to South America if it cannot be repaired in-situ. The ship is sheltered in safe position resting alongside the jetty of King Edward Point Research Station in the British overseas territory.

Passengers were meant to finish their cruise at the Cape Verde islands in early May. Instead, they will be taken to Montevideo in Uruguay, ending their holiday more than a week early.


Look on the bright side – they’re not short of ice for the drinks!

– Amy DuPrez, via Facebook

Oceanwide Expeditions: updates