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Norwegian Cruise Line passengers claim Antarctica voyage was rerouted mid-trip

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(NEW YORK) — Antarctica-bound passengers aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship claim their course was rerouted mid-voyage to instead travel around South America, nearly 200 miles off course from the destination they say they booked.

The cruise ship was originally slated to travel around South America before heading on to Paradise Bay, Antarctica, but after passengers boarded, one traveler said she noticed the trip description had changed.

According to Helen Midler, the new description read “round-trip of South America” and the itinerary had been altered.

She posted videos about the changes to the TikTok account @ruinedvacation to express her disappointment, garnering millions of views.

“They are not going anywhere near mainland Antarctica, which is what we paid for,” she said in the video.

Other passengers have since taken to social media, sharing their disappointment and frustration in videos posted on TikTok.

“We feel we’re being cheated, being scammed,” one traveler said.

In a statement to ABC News, Norwegian Cruise Line said the ship did go to Antarctica, but instead of heading to Paradise Bay near the mainland, it instead went to Admiralty Bay, off an island more than 200 miles north of the original Antarctic destination.

“While we try to maintain original itineraries as much as possible, at times modifications are made to optimize the itinerary or to accommodate certain circumstances,” the statement from the cruise line 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.”

“It’s been largely a disappointment, in terms of not knowing where we’re going,” passenger Eric Huang told ABC News this week. “I don’t feel like I experienced Antarctica on this cruise. I think I would have to come again to be able to do that.”

This is not the first time a ship has changed its intended course with passengers on board.

In December, passengers aboard the MSC Meraviglia said they thought they were headed to to Ocean Cay in the Bahamas, but 24 hours before departure, they said the destination was switched to Canada.

The cruise line at the time said the change had to happen because storms made it impossible to travel to the Bahamas.

Experts say this serves as a good reminder that no matter where you’re planning to travel on a cruise line, there is no 100% guarantee that’s where you’ll end up.

“We always recommend that passengers read their crews contract carefully,” Cruise Critic Editor-in-Chief Colleen McDaniel told ABC News. “Also, we recommend working with people like travel advisers who can serve as your advocate for you in case something goes wrong.”

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