Princess Cruises has told Cruise Critic that its U.K.-based ship, Sea Princess, picked up a group of eight Algerian refugees during a Mediterranean cruise.

A Cruise Critic member alerted us to the fact the 77,690-ton, 1,950-passenger ship was sailing from Ajaccio to Gibraltar on Tuesday when it went to the aid of a small boat which staff presumed was in distress.

It turned out that this wasn't the case at all, and when crew from Sea Princess began the rescue it became clear the group were refugees.

A spokesperson for Princess Cruises confirmed to Cruise Critic that the group has been examined by medical staff and are in good health. The ship is due to arrive in Southampton tomorrow and the refugees will be handed over to authorities.

-- by Kelly Ranson, Associate Editor