Eight passengers from a Norwegian Cruise Line ship found themselves stranded on the African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe after missing the ship's departure on March 27. According to Norwegian Cruise Line, the passengers were late returning to the vessel, missing the all-aboard time of 3 p.m. local time.

Despite efforts to communicate their delay, the ship left without them. The cruise line stated that passengers are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship on time, with announcements made over the ship's intercom and information provided in daily communications.

The stranded passengers had their passports handed over to local port agents and were advised to cover their own expenses to catch up with the ship at the next available port. The cruise line assured that they were in contact with local authorities and providing support to the affected passengers.

Reports from a South Carolina couple among the stranded passengers revealed a challenging journey to catch up with the ship. The group spent 15 hours traveling through six countries to reach Gambia, only to find the ship unable to dock due to low tides. After an additional day at sea, their next attempt was to reach Senegal, where the ship was scheduled to call into port.

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Among the stranded passengers are elderly individuals, a paraplegic, and a pregnant woman. One passenger has been without essential heart medication for five days and has fallen ill as a result.

Efforts to communicate with the ship's crew were reportedly unsuccessful, leaving the stranded passengers without access to necessary medications and financial resources. A passenger with a medical emergency was hospitalized on São Tomé, further complicating the situation.

As the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship continues its journey to Dakar, Senegal, efforts are underway to reunite the stranded passengers with the vessel.