Louis Offers Compensation to Sea Diamond Passengers

April 16, 2007
New: Sea Diamond Data Recorder Surfaces
Louis Says Human Error Sank Sea Diamond
Greeks Rush to Contain Sea Diamond Oil Spill
Updated: Is My Ship Safe?
Search for Missing Passengers Continues
Cruise Critic Members Respond to Sea Diamond Incident
Passengers Still Missing; Evacuation Procedures Probed
Sea Diamond Captain, Officers Charged with Negligence
Divers Search for Missing Sea Diamond Passengers
Louis Cruise Lines' Sea Diamond: A Brief History
Under the Captain's Table's Joyce Weighs In
Greek Ship Sinks; Two Passengers Missing
Passengers Evacuate Listing Greek Cruise Ship
Travel Guard Offers Free Help to Evacuees

Louis Cruise Lines has announced that Sea Diamond passengers who were forced to evacuate after the ship ran aground will receive 1,400 euros (approximately $1,896) in compensation, according to a statement from the cruise line.

This includes 1,000 euros for lost luggage, the maximum amount payable under the International Maritime Organization's Athens Convention (relating to damage or loss suffered by passengers on seagoing vessels) and 400 euros for the missed port call at Santorini. Each passenger was also given 200 euros after evacuation for immediate expenses.

In addition, passengers will be offered a free four-day Greek Islands cruise on any Louis ship or a discount on a longer cruise via a prorated certificate. Passengers may take that cruise on any sailing through December 31, 2009 with 45-day advance confirmation on a space available basis. All information and monies will be forwarded to the travel agents that handled the bookings.

Louis has brought in two Louis vessels for the temporary replacement of Sea Diamond: Thompson Spirit and Emerald. There will be no interruption of service for passengers previously booked on these ships. The cruise line has also chartered a third vessel to help carry out Sea Diamond's originally scheduled itineraries after April: Pullmantur's Oceanic II (formerly Princess' Sea Princess). Louis will charter the ship from April 30 through May 28.

The cruise line expects to announce a permanent replacement for Sea Diamond shortly.

In other news, the vessel's data recorder, or "black box," has been sent to a special laboratory so that it can be decoded. It was handed over on Saturday to a Naxos prosecutor who is handling the case, Greece's international English language newspaper Kathimerini reports.

"People were asking why it took so long [to find the recorder] considering there is a beeper on it," says Joyce Gleeson-Adamidis, our Under the Captain's Table columnist and correspondent in Greece. "The continued movement of the ship (it is upside down and leaning against the underwater cliffs) made it hard to get to it.

"One thought that was given is that everyone can see that the inflatable life rafts had popped up and automatically opened when they surfaced -- so it was suggested that the black box have a floating device in case of future accidents that will cut the time, personnel and costs to find it. In the meantime, search for the missing [passengers] continues at full force, clean up of fuel leakage is going very well, tempers are still strong and salvage work is soon to begin."

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor