Passengers on the Costa Allegra wait to disembark from the damaged cruise… (Laurent Levy / EPA )
The Costa Voyager, a cruise ship that holds 927 passengers, starting March 18 will take over for the Costa Allegra, which remains damaged after a generator-room fire caused the ship to lose power.
The Allegra remains in port at Mahe in the Seychelle Islands where it was towed after being stranded at sea for three days following the Feb. 27 fire. None of the 1,000-plus passengers or crew members were injured in the incident. A statement from Costa Cruises said the company was trying to determine what caused the fire and how long it would take to repair the ship.
The company also said passengers booked on Costa Allegra cruises may cancel without penalty and receive a full refund plus a voucher for 30% of the cost of a future cruise.
In the meantime, the Voyager from mid-March until July 1 will sail Mediterranean and Northern Europe itineraries catering mostly to French passengers. After that, it will sail from Amsterdam to Savona, Italy, starting July 13 and then sail mostly on Mediterranean itineraries starting July 23.
The Voyager's cruise to the Red Sea will be canceled. Passengers booked on that cruise are being offered their choice of a replacement cruise on other Costa ships.
The incident on the Costa Allegra and the earlier Costa Concordia disaster in January that left 25 people dead with seven still missing has weakened the brand, according to the Associated Press, which reported: "Industry experts said Costa's survival after 60 years in the passenger ship business could depend on the company changing its name or getting a bailout from its parent, U.S.-based Carnival."