Around 1,300 mainly Spanish and Portuguese tourists are back home after their cruise from Istanbul to Athens had to be aborted after the ship got irrevocably grounded in Kusadasi port last Tuesday (photo).
It seems that the captain of the'Sky Wonder' made a mistake as he was manoeuvering the elderly vessel towards the dock, and given that the ship's reverse gear was not working and that the Turkish port's tug boats were out of action, could do nothing to prevent her from slowly drifting on to a sand bank where she became stuck.
The passengers only agreed to abandon ship after receiving guarantees from the Pullmantour company that organised the cruise.
According to one of the passengers, Marta (26, from Madrid), "at the start they only offered us a 50% discount on our next cruise."
A protest meeting was organised and the passengers - already fuming about not being kept informed about the situation - opened negotiations, eventually agreeing to accept not only a full refund (around €900 euros), but also the promised 50% discount.
The 'Sky Wonder' was built in 1984.