Cruise Ship Visa Debacle Traps 1,500 Passengers at Port

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A cruise ship at a port in Spain has been forced to hold all 1,500 passengers on board, after a group from Bolivia failed to obtain the correct visa documents to enter the European border-free Schengen area.

According to reports, cruise ship MSC Armonia remains detained in Barcelona, with authorities scrambling to sort the situation.

The debacle, involving 69 Bolivian passengers, is preventing the ship from continuing its journey until the situation is resolved.

The journey has proceeded from Brazil to traverse a course in the Mediterranean Sea, with the 69 Bolivians in question consisting of families and kids.

Through an assertion, MSC Cruises initially assumed the visa paperwork was right and seemed to meet the necessary criteria for travel.

However, after a more thorough examination, the visas were “not valid” for entry.

“The passengers appeared to possess adequate documentation upon boarding in Brazil,” the statement conveyed.

We have been alerted by relevant authorities that these visas will not grant entry into the Schengen area. Consequently, passengers were unable to make their final stop in Barcelona,” it was revealed.

A passenger from Bolivia, who wished to remain nameless, spoke with local media outlets and expressed her feelings of being regarded as “a criminal [stuck in a] prison,” even though the travel agency had reportedly confirmed her visa’s validity and adequacy for travel.

Relatives of the Bolivian passengers on this cruise told Spanish media outlets that they believe the 69 travelers were scammed.

As reported by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, it seems a South American agency sold the visas over the internet, charging up to $10,000 for each individual.

It is understood the ship will remain in port while it works with authorities while the investigation continues.

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