SAN SEBASTIAN – An overnight storm off the Spanish coast caused anxious moments on the British cruise ship “Spirit of Discovery”, leaving around 100 passengers with minor injuries.
Five of them required treatment for more serious injuries at the ship’s medical centre. The ship, with around 1,000 travellers on board, was on a 14-day voyage to the Canary Islands when it entered the Bay of Biscay in bad weather.
The planned stop in Las Palmas had already been cancelled due to bad weather, and an attempt to visit the port of La Coruna was prevented because the port was closed.
Abrupt turn causes chaos
During the storm, the propulsion safety system activated, causing an abrupt left turn and a sudden stop of the ship. These unexpected movements were the cause of the injuries to the passengers.
Safe return despite incident
The cruise ship eventually reached Portsmouth harbour, where the journey came to an end without further incident. The company assured that the safety of the ship was never compromised and apologised for the inconvenience caused by the weather, which was beyond their control.
Wild sea conditions
The Bay of Biscay is known for its wild sea conditions. These are caused by the fact that the waters here are deep. That gives the waves room to build up and get bigger. In addition, a strong southwest wind often blows, bringing stormy conditions and creating high waves. Finally, the Bay of Biscay is exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. Waves coming from the ocean meet the land and have free rein, often leading to significant sea swells.
Luxury travel for elderly people
Aimed at travellers over 50, the “Spirit of Discovery” is equipped with luxury amenities. Think of a theatre, library, pool facilities and even a golf simulator, and each cabin has its own balcony.