1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Costa Allegra
Tano Pecoraro  /  AP
An undated picture of the Costa Allegra cruise ship in Genoa's Harbor Italy. The Italian coast guard says a fire broke out on the ship off the Seychelles islands, Feb. 27. The ship owner Costa Crociere says in a statement there were no injuries or casualties among the 636 passengers and 413 crew members.
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 2/28/2012 8:14:55 AM ET 2012-02-28T13:14:55

A French fishing vessel on Tuesday began towing an Italian cruise ship drifting powerless in the Indian Ocean to a nearby Seychelles island, but was not expected to reach the tiny resort island until Thursday, according to company officials.

A spokesman for Costa Crociere, the cruise company, told NBC News' Claudio Lavanga that the stricken liner carrying more than 1,000 passengers and crew members would arrive at the Seychelles' main island Mahe on Thursday.

The Costa Allegra lost power Monday after a fire in its generator room only six weeks after one of its sister ships, the Costa Concordia, hit a reef and capsized off Italy. No one was injured in the fire Monday, but the blaze set the cruise-liner adrift at sea in a region where Somali pirates prey on ships.

Company officials had previously said that they were making arrangements to evacuate people to the island of Desroches later on Tuesday and then take the passengers and crew to the main Seychelles island by plane and fast boats.

Company officials told Lavanga that the port at Desroches, a small, exclusive coral-lined island that has seen such visitors as Prince William and Kate Middletown before the two married, does not fit the safety criteria for a ship of that size.

The company said it was keeping passengers as comfortable as possible.

"Helicopters will ensure continuous supply of food, comfort items, flashlights in order to mitigate guests' discomfort given the difficult conditions on board," Costa said in a statement.

Two boats towing the Costa Allegra back to the Seychelles' main port — Port Victoria — were under escort by the coast guard and military.

Photos released by the Seychelles on Tuesday showed hundreds of people milling outside on the decks of the Costa Allegra. Taken by an Indian navy plane, the photos showed calm seas and an upright ship.

Video: Another Costa cruise ship in trouble (on this page)

The Costa Allegra has 636 passengers and 413 crew members on board. The fire knocked out power to the ship's engines as well as to its lights and air conditioning.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Prince George meets George the marsupial on zoo trip

      The latest leg of the royal family’s three-week adventure Down Under brought them to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, whe...

    2. Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom
    3. Real wedding: After marrying in India, couple plan sleek NYC ceremony
    4. Ouch! Baseball player hit in face by 90-mph fastball
    5. Former Columbine student meets other school shooting survivors

The power burnout came six weeks after the Costa Concordia capsized, killing 25 people and leaving seven missing and presumed dead. Both ships are operated by Costa Crociere SpA, which is owned by the Florida-based Carnival Corp.

However, company officials rushed to play down concerns.

The Costa Allegra is adrift "and being pushed by the current. It is stable and upright," Giorgio Moretti, the director of nautical operations for Costa Crociere SpA, told reporters in a conference call late Monday from company headquarters in Genoa, Italy.

Carnival Magic rescues worker who jumps off ship

"It's a big ship and to tow it, to move it across the waters, is a heavy task," said Seychelles presidential spokeswoman Srdjana Janosevic. She said that everything is calm on board the cruise ship and that no one is hurt.

Italian Coast Guard officials said emergency generators were keeping the ship's control room illuminated and communications equipment such as radios running. Officials said the cruise liner was holding steady, despite 5-foot waves in the area and passengers were being kept in the ship's big communal rooms, not in their cabins.

Moretti, a longtime Costa captain, said he expected the 636 passengers aboard would spend the night on outside decks. Among them were 212 Italian, 31 British and eight U.S. passengers, he said. Four of the passengers were children ages 3 or younger.

The Allegra, whose Italian name means "merry," or "happy," had left northern Madagascar, off Africa's southeast coast, on Saturday and was cruising toward Port Victoria when the fire erupted. Costa said the Allegra had been due in Port Victoria on Tuesday.

22 Carnival cruise passengers robbed in Mexico

The general region where the cruise ship was adrift — off the coast of Tanzania — has seen a rash of attacks by Somali pirates. In 2009, an Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people aboard fended off a pirate attack in the Indian Ocean far off the coast of Somalia.

Moretti said an armed nine-member Italian military team on anti-pirate duty was aboard the Allegra, but he insisted the maritime region where the ship was now "isn't a high risk area for pirates."

"If pirates attack, the armed guards on board will respond. But as far as I am aware, no pirates have been sighted in the area," said Janosevic.

Moretti said 15 Costa engineers, technicians and other officials were flying to Mahe in hope of reaching the Allegra by air to repair its generators.

NBC News, msnbc.com staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Crippled cruise ship towed in pirate zone

  1. Closed captioning of: Crippled cruise ship towed in pirate zone

    >> with an italian cruise ship floating powerless with more than 1,000 passengers and crew on board in the pirate infested waters of the indian ocean . michelle kosinski has the latest from london. good morning.

    >> reporter: hi, natalie. this is another costa cruise ship , a sister ship to the con concordia that crashed and rolled killing nearly 25 people. this ship is dark and drifting, now being towed for nearly 25 hours. there are more than 600 passengers, including eight americans on the costa allegra now in the indian oceans near the seychelles. where they have been drifting with no a.c., no power, no propulsion for almost a day because a fire broke out in the engine room and took hours to douse. the ship sent out a distress signal while having passengers and crew gather at assembly points. this in waters notoriously infested with pirates. the coast guard said passengers are fine. there are italian marines on board and a seychelles plane flew over. the problems started with a deadly disaster off italy last month. two cruise ships were hit with no ro virus outbreaks and then this on a ship described as shimmers and modern promising new and exciting pleasures every day, but waiting on deck for help to arrive wasn't part of the package. the problem has been getting to the ship to get help. a helicopter was able to bring food and communications equipment. it is now being towed. but it won't be until thursday they can get to the closest island big enough to handle the passengers. the company said it was sincerely sorry for the inconvenience. natalie?

    >> michelle kosinski out of the london bureau this morning. thank you.

Photos: Luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground

loading photos...
  1. A diver participates in a search operation Sept. 24, 2013, for two missing bodies onboard the Costa Concordia. Divers on Sept. 26 found what they believe to be the last two missing bodies from the sea where the Costa Concordia cruise liner sank last year off the Italian island of Giglio. The huge ship was carrying more than 4,000 holidaymakers and crew when it capsized after striking rocks on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people, including two whose bodies were not recovered. (Laura Lezza / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Two images taken by the Astrium satellite of the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in the harbor of Isola de Giglio, on Sept. 12 (left) and after it was turned upright on Sept. 17 (right). (EADS via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A damaged section of the stricken Costa Concordia is visible after a parbuckling operation successfully uprighted the ship in the early hours of Sept. 17. Work began the previous day to right the stricken vessel, which capsized on Jan. 12, 2012. (Marco Secchi / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. The Costa Concordia is seen at the end of the parbuckling operation outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 17. Salvage crews raised the cruise liner in one of the most difficult and expensive wreck recovery projects ever performed. In a 19-hour operation, the massive ship was pulled upright by a series of huge jacks and cables and left resting in 30 meters of water on underwater platforms drilled into the rocky sea bed. (Tony Gentile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. This combination shows four photos of the Costa Concordia, after it ran aground on Jan. 14, 2012 (top left), beginning to emerge during the salvage operation on Sept. 16 (top right and bottom left) and after it was turned upright on Sept. 17 (bottom right). (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The Costa Concordia is seen after it was lifted upright, on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early on Sept. 17. The crippled cruise ship was pulled completely upright early Tuesday after a complicated, 19-hour operation to wrench it from its side where it capsized last year off Tuscany, with officials declaring it a "perfect" end to a daring and unprecedented engineering feat. (Andrew Medichini / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship begins to emerge from water on Sept. 16. Thirty-two people died when the ship, with 4,200 passengers onboard, hit rocks and ran aground off the island of Giglio. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. People watch as the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship begins to emerge from water on Sept. 16. Thirty-two people died when the ship, with 4,200 passengers onboard, hit rocks and ran aground off the island of Giglio. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Salvage workers work on the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship on Sept. 16. (Tony Gentile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A lightning storm is pictured over the sea near the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia on Sept. 15. The luxury cruise ship capsized and sank on Jan. 13, 2012, after approaching the Tuscan island to perform a manuever close to the shore known as a "salute." It struck a rock which tore a gash in its hull and capsized soon afterwards. 32 people lost their lives during a chaotic nighttime evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew. Two bodies have still not been recovered. (Tony Gentile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. An aerial view, taken from an Italian navy helicopter, shows the Costa Concordia surrounded by other vessels on Aug. 26. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. People sunbathe in front of the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia lying surrounded by cranes outside Giglio harbor on July 17. (Giampiero Sposito / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Workers stand on the Costa Concordia cruise ship near the port on Jan. 8, 2013 on the Italian island of Giglio. (Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. The Costa Concordia cruise ship lays near the harbor of Giglio Porto on Oct. 14, 2012. The luxury cruise ship capsized and sank on Jan. 13, 2012, after approaching the Tuscan island of Giglio to perform a manuever close to the shore known as a "salute." It struck a rock which tore a gash in its hull and capsized soon afterwards. 32 people lost their lives during a chaotic nighttime evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew. Two bodies have still not been recovered. (Filippo Monteforte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Francesco Schettino, the former captain of the Costa Concordia luxury cruise ship, arrives at the Teatro Moderno theater for a pre-trial hearing in Grosseto, Italy, on Oct. 16, 2012. The case of Schettino, 51, is of such interest that a theater had to be turned into a courtroom to accommodate those who had a legitimate claim to be at the closed-door hearing. The court will decide if Schettino should face a full trial, which could take place next year. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A boy prepares to snorkel in front of the wreckage of the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia, near the harbour of Giglio Porto, on Aug. 28, 2012. Tourists on the Tuscan coast were taking part in a rather macabre form of sightseeing -- taking boat trips to view the wreckage of shipwrecked cruise liner Costa Concordia, where 32 people lost their lives after it hit rocks on January 13. (Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Workers prepare to remove a giant rock embedded in the hull of the capsized Costa Concordia on July 12. (Remo Casilli / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A couple sunbathe in front of the wreckage of the Costa Concordia on June 20. (Max Rossi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The body of a victim, retrieved from the Costa Concordia cruise ship which ran aground off the west coast of Italy, is lifted to a helicopter during operations to bring up four bodies from the wreck at Giglio island on Feb. 23. Divers found a total of eight bodies on the wreck on Feb. 22. (Giampiero Sposito / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship is seen off the west coast of Italy at the snow-covered Giglio island on Feb. 11. Salvage and rescue operations on the capsized ship faced a new obstacle on Friday as rare snowfall hit Giglio, stopping ferry services out of Porto Santo Stefano to the island. (Giampiero Sposito / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Hungarians carry the coffin of Sandor Feher, a violinist who died during the accident after he had rescued children and other passengers on the Costa Concordia. The funeral ceremony was held in Budapest on Feb. 1, in the KIspest cemetery. (Ferenc Isza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Technicians of SMIT, the Dutch extraction company, work in the port of Giglio on Jan. 28. Rough seas forced a delay in the planned start of the operation to remove a half-million gallons of fuel from the grounded Costa Concordia. (Pier Paolo Cito / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Seagulls fly in front of the grounded cruise ship on Jan. 30. Residents of Giglio are growing increasingly worried about threats to the environment and the future of the Italian island as the recovery operation is forecast to take up to a year. (Pier Paolo Cito / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. A firefighter is lowered from a helicopter above the Costa Concordia in an undated photo made available on Jan. 23. (Vigili del Fuoco via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Two Italian navy scuba divers inspect inside the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side, half-submerged and threatening to slide into deeper waters, in this photo released on Jan. 23. (Marina Militare via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A firefighter climbs on the bridge of the Costa Concordia on Jan. 22. A week after the 114,500-ton ship ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan coast, hopes of finding anyone alive have all but disappeared. (Paul Hanna / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Family members of missing victims throw flowers into the water near the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, on Jan. 21. (Giampiero Sposito / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Carabinieri police divers passing by the bell of the stricken Costa Concordia luxury liner during their underwater search on Jan. 19. Rescuers were forced to suspend operations after the ship moved again on Friday, firefighters' spokeman Luca Cari said. (Carabinieri via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Relatives and friends of victims of the stricken cruise ship are escorted by police to a local church on the island of Giglio on Jan. 19. (Massimo Percossi / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Scuba divers of the Gruppo Carabinieri Subaquei diving under the wreck of the Costa Concordia on Jan. 19. (Carabinieri via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Search and rescue teams continue the search for survivors on the Costa Concordia on Jan. 19. (Tullio M. Puglia / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. The Costa Serena, background, passes its wrecked sister ship, the Costa Concordia, on Jan. 18. International cruise goers put on a brave face as Costa's first Mediterranean tour since last week's tragedy set sail out of the same port as the doomed luxury liner. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Angel Paredes, right, a Peruvian crew member who survived the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster, is welcomed by relatives at Lima's airport on Jan. 18. (Mariana Bazo / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Police divers surface in the water Jan. 18 close to the wrecked Costa Concordia. (Massimo Percossi / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. A bench from the stricken ship lies on nearby rocks on Jan. 18. (Massimo Percossi / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. A satellite image shows the wreck of the Costa Concordia off the island of Giglio on Jan. 17. (DigitalGlobe) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. The heavily listing Costa Concordia, as seen the night of Jan. 16 from the harbor on Giglio island. (Andreas Solaro / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. A woman looks at the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner on Jan. 16. The owner of the luxury liner said its captain had made "errors of judgment" as the search continued for the missing. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. A woman is hugged by a relative upon her arrival early Jan. 16 on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion with 30 other passengers who survived the Costa Concordia accident. (Richard Bouhet / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Rescue workers climb aboard the Costa Concordia on Jan. 16. (Max Rossi / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Costa Concordia passenger Lauren Moore, right, of Bowling Green, Ky., is greeted upon her return from Italy by her father, Ronnie Moore, second right; mother, Sarah Moore; and sister, Leslie Moore, left, on Jan 15 at the Louisville International Airport. (Alex Slitz / Daily News via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. Firefighters on a dinghy look at a rock emerging from the side of the Costa Concordia on Jan. 15. (Andrea Sinibaldi / Lapresse via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Costa Concordia cruise liner captain Francesco Schettino, right, is escorted by police on Jan. 14 in Grosseto. Schettino was arrested on charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, police said. (Stringer/italy / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. The Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground is seen Jan. 14 off the coast of Giglio. At least 11 people were killed, and rescuers were searching for other victims after the Italian cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 people ran aground. (Italian Guardia di Finanza / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. Passengers arrive at Porto Santo Stefano on Jan. 14 after the Costa Concordia ran aground. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. Italian coast guard personnel recover the "black box" of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia to establish the precise sequence of events behind the disaster, which occurred in calm seas and clear weather. (Gregorio Borgia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Rescue workers help a woman Jan. 14 upon her arrival at Porto Santo Stefano in Italy. Helicopters and nearby boats assisted in the rescue efforts. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. Members of the emergency services take an injured passenger from the Costa Concordia to a waiting ambulance Jan. 14 on the island of Giglio. (Enzo Russo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. Passengers and crew members wearing life jackets prepare to evacuate the Costa Concordia on Jan. 13 after the ship ran aground. (Sky Italia via AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. The Costa Concordia lays on its starboard side after it ran aground on Jan. 13, forcing some 4,200 people aboard to evacuate aboard lifeboats to the nearby Isola del Giglio. (Giuseppe Modesti / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    video Former Columbine student meets other school shooting survivors

    4/20/2014 1:59:51 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:59:51
  1. TODAY

    video Ouch! Baseball player hit in face by 90-mph fastball

    4/20/2014 1:22:19 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:22:19
  1. Nick Lisi / AP

    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    4/20/2014 5:57:24 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T17:57:24
  1. Pool / Reuters

    Prince George meets George the marsupial on zoo trip

    4/20/2014 3:44:05 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T15:44:05
  1. TODAY

    video Death toll rises as divers enter sunken South Korean ferry

    4/20/2014 1:23:09 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:23:09
Boston Marathon
  1. Police securing Boston

    video Law enforcement officials are working around the clock to make sure the Boston Marathon is safe.

    4/20/2014 1:24:33 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:24:33
  2. Boston counts down to marathon 

    video After getting through a long, painful year, many Boston Marathon bombing survivors look forward to finishing what they started.

    4/20/2014 1:23:53 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:23:53