American Tourists Left Stranded On Remote African Island After Cruise Ship Leaves Without Them


An American couple nearly experienced being cast away after becoming stranded on a small African island after their cruise ship left without them due to a tour guide’s delay, leading to a series of challenges and acts of kindness. They are still awaiting assistance.

Jill and Jay Campbell, from Garden City, South Carolina, took a cruise to the African continent aboard a Norwegian liner that started on March 20.

But a week into their voyage, the couple and a handful of other passengers were left stranded 5,960 miles from their South Carolina home, North Carolina TV station WRAL reported.

Jill said what was supposed to be a memorable cruise became truly unforgettable but for the wrong reason.

She said: “We have never had an experience like this before.”

Jill and Campbell were among eight passengers left stranded in São Tomé and Príncipe

Image credits: Inside Edition

On Wednesday (March 27), the Campbells and six other people were on a tour in São Tomé and Príncipe, an African island nation close to the equator. 

The tour took longer than expected. As Jay recalled: “We were like, ‘Our time is getting really short, ‘and they were like, ‘No problem, we can get you back within an hour.’”

The Campbells reportedly said the tour operator had contacted the captain to let them know passengers were going to be late.

Image credits: Jill Campbell

When the group arrived at the port, the ship was still anchored, but the Campbells said the captain refused to let them on board, as per WRAL.

Jay explained: “The Harbor Master tried to call the ship, [but] the captain refused the call.

“We sent emails to Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the NCL customer service emergency number, and they said, well, the only way for us to get in touch with the ship is to send them emails, and they’re not responding to our emails.”

The cruise’s captain refused to let the passengers back on board after their tour had taken longer than expected

Image credits: Inside Edition

São Tomé coast guard managed to eventually load all of the passengers on a boat and take them to the anchored ship, but the captain told the coast guard to take the passengers back to the island.

Jay further recalled: “The captain could have made an easy decision to turn one of the tender boats back, pick us up, safely load us, and then go on the way.

“They had no port to call for the next day, they were simply going to be at sea.

Image credits: Inside Edition

The group consisted of seven Americans and two Australians, four of whom were elderly. One passenger had a heart condition, and another was a paraplegic, WRAL reported.

Additionally, there was a married couple from Delaware, and the wife was reportedly pregnant.

While stranded, the group met an 80-year-old woman who got a concussion and lost part of her vision following a different cruise line tour, WRAL reported.

Elderly people with medical conditions were left stranded on the remote island

Image credits: Inside Edition

The Campbells said she was left at the hospital without any money or her belongings, and her emergency contact was never notified by the cruise line. However, the couple was able to help her.

Jay said: “I truly believe sometimes we’re put in certain places for a reason, and I believe we were put in this place for the 80-year-old woman who was left alone. 

“God forbid what would have happened to that lady if we were not here.”

Image credits: ncl

According to WRAL, none of the other passengers had their medications or even credit cards that were accepted on the island.

The Campbells said they were the only ones in the group with a Visa card. As a result, they’ve paid over $5,000 in food, toiletries, and hotels for the group.

Jay was just happy to have his wife by his side, as he revealed: “This woman has been a saint.”

You can watch the incident’s new report below:

“I don’t know where the whole group would be without her strength, guidance, and compassion for others. 

“I’m honored and blessed that I have the smartest woman in the world next to me.”

The Campbells said they would get help from the U.S. Embassy in Angola. On Sunday (April 7), the castaway group will be expected to fly to Gambia. 

However, the stranded passengers can currently only get on the ship if the cruise line approves their request. The Campbells said they have not heard back from Norwegian Cruise Line about the incident.

Bored Panda has contacted NCL for comment.

“This is so unfair,” a reader commented


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