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Passengers are furious after Norwegian Cruise Line removed Antarctica from its itinerary after everyone had boarded

A docked, white cruise ship with a red sun on the side of it with construction in the foreground and light blue skies behind it.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun cruise ship docked in Jacksonville, Florida.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
  • Norwegian Cruise Line passengers are upset over a sudden itinerary change, skipping Antarctica.

  • Passengers voiced their disappointment on social media, accusing the company of poor communication.

  • The company cited "operational reasons" for the change, leaving passengers demanding answers.

Passengers aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship are furious about a change in their itinerary which means they are no longer heading to Antarctica.

Those aboard the cruise ship were expecting to travel to Antarctica and South America. But after they boarded, they noticed the trip's name was quietly changed on the app to "Round-trip of South America" last week.

On February 9, a TikTok account called @ruinedvacation was set up, where a woman expressed her frustration with what had happened and what she said was poor communication from the company.

"I'm on board Norwegian Star," the passenger said. "Our ship is not going to Antarctica."

She said the name of the cruise had "secretively" been changed to a Round-trip of South America, and she believed the decision had been made before passengers boarded the ship.

She said customer service cited "operation reasons" for the change but did not elaborate.

According to the NZ Herald, a notification was sent to passengers to inform them they would not be reaching Antarctica

"While we try to maintain original itineraries as much as possible, unfortunately, at times modifications are made to optimise the itinerary or to accommodate certain circumstances," it read. "As such, in order to enhance the guest experience, the itinerary has been revised."

The woman behind @ruinedvacation said passengers began gathering in the communal foyer of the ship to demand answers.

"Customer service are refusing to acknowledge us," she said, showing the large crowd of angry passengers that was forming.

"They've sent a security officer out to calm us down, but we just refuse to be told: 'Sorry we're not going, and we're not going to give you reasons.'"

She said passengers felt "scammed" by the ordeal because everyone on the ship had paid "a lot of money" to go to Antarctica. Trip costs vary, but one passenger on Facebook said he had paid $13,000 for his ticket.

"They think we're idiots," she said. "We're not idiots, and we're not prepared to just accept this sitting down."

Passengers also discussed the situation in the Facebook group "Norwegian Star South America & Antarctica," saying they were not being provided answers of effective communication.

"No explanation," wrote one passenger named Shane C Grant. "The entire ship are really pissed off. My wife and myself only found out via whispers in the hallway."

The woman running @ruinedvacation provided an update the following day, saying some crew members had appeared during the gathering in the foyer.

"But we are still very much in the dark," she said.

She said the decision was made by the NCL head office in Miami, not by anyone on board, on January 31. She said what passengers had been told was that the ship was on a "go slow order" and could not travel at the speed it normally would.

"Do they know why? We don't know," she said, adding that passengers still had not heard from the captain.

"Is it saving fuel costs? Is it something with the ship, that it can't handle the long journey? We don't know," she said. "But they made that decision."

She said for many people, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and NCL had taken that away.

Cruise companies can often change their itineraries at the last minute, leaving passengers frustrated and angry. In December, passengers on an MSC Cruises trip were told they would be heading from New York to Boston instead of the Caribbean just hours before they were scheduled to set sail.

In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said they are "committed to providing exceptional vacation experiences" and taking passengers to "sought-out destinations around the world."

They said modifications are made to "optimize the itinerary or to accommodate certain circumstances," and in this case, the decision was made to give passengers more time to explore Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands.

"As such, the cruise by Paradise Bay, Antarctica was replaced with a cruise by Admiralty Bay, Antarctica," they said. "In addition, due to a recent regulatory requirement in the area, the ship is operating at a reduced speed, also impacting its original itinerary."

Business Insider has reached out to @ruinedvacation for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider