A Saga Cruises journey had to be cut short after the ship got caught in bad weather in the Bay of Biscay, off France’s west and Spain’s north coasts. From the 1,000 passengers onboard, 100 were mostly mildly injured, although 5 sustained more serious injuries. “All were treated immediately by onboard medical staff”, a spokesperson for Saga Cruises ensured.
The Spirit of Discovery ship departed Portsmouth, in south UK, on 24 October and was supposed to spend 14 days cruising around the Canary Islands, heading to La Palma, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria before making another stop in Spain’s La Coruña ahead of returning back to Portsmouth.
However, between Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria, the ship found itself in stormy waters, literally, the captain deciding to head directly to La Coruña in an attempt to keep ahead of the bad weather. But before reaching the northern Spanish city, the port in La Coruña closed due to the storm, so Spirit of Discovery made a push to reach back to Portsmouth.
Shortly after however, the storm caught up to the cruise ship in the Bay of Biscay, an area already infamous for its hard sailing conditions caused by a mix of treacherous waters and frequent bad weather. According to a post on X, passengers were “getting flung to the floor in the dining room with tables and crockery falling on them”, while passenger Jan Bendall, 75, told the BBC that she and her husband were “holding on for dear life”. Bendall however commended the staff for how they handled the situation.
The ship finally reached back to Portsmouth during the night of 6 November and passengers disembarked the following morning.
“Spirit of Discovery was sadly caught in the challenging weather conditions this weekend, as she started her return to the UK. The ship remained safe at all times, but due to the impact of the storm some guests sustained injuries. All were treated immediately by onboard medical staff. While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected who are now safely back, having sailed home in calmer seas”, a Saga Cruises spokesperson said in a statement.