Passengers with Visa Issues Removed as Cruise Ship Stuck in Spain Resumes Sailing

The MSC Armonia, a cruise ship carrying 1,500 passengers, was stuck in port in Barcelona due to a visa dispute involving 69 Bolivian passengers. The Spanish authorities suspected that the visas of these passengers were fake, and they are currently being held on another boat while the investigation is ongoing.

The MSC Armonia cruise ship had set off from Brazil and was scheduled to continue through the Mediterranean before some passengers were meant to switch over in Barcelona. However, the delay caused by the visa issues has resulted in planned stops in France, Greece, and Croatia being canceled, leading to some passengers leaving the boat early.

Barcelona was supposed to be the final destination for the Bolivian passengers, but the ship had to stay in port until the situation was resolved. MSC Cruises confirmed in a statement that the cruise would resume sailing on Thursday after working with Spanish authorities to disembark the Bolivian guests who would follow the immigration process as required by law.

The passengers’ visas were found to not be valid for entry, and the Spanish authorities are currently investigating the situation. The Bolivian passengers will be held on another boat while the authorities determine whether they will be deported or granted asylum. Solange Duarte, a Bolivian diplomat in Barcelona, reported that some of the Bolivian passengers may have been tricked into obtaining fake visas.

MSC Cruises is a well-known cruise line that offers luxury trips lasting for months at a time. The company’s new four-month-long world cruise set for 2026 is expected to cost passengers between $15,800 and $38,210 per person, depending on their cabin choice.

By Samantha Robertson

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