A large Chinese cruise ship with more than 2,000 people onboard was stuck at sea for 2 days because it could not dock in the heavy smog that enveloped much of northern China.
The cruise ship finally returned to Port of Tianjin Monday afternoon, January 2, after drifting for 2 days at sea, according to Beijing Evening News. The thick air pollution made it impossible to safety berth the vessel, according to the article.
A passenger was quoted as saying that the ship was scheduled to return on New Year’s Eve after travelling to South Korea and Japan.
But she was told by the crew that the ship was unable to dock as visibility was severely compromised by the smog.
She said passengers were unsure how long they would be stuck at sea, but passengers were grateful there was plenty of entertainment on board to kill time.
“Unlike passengers who are stuck at some public facilities like an airport, we got to use the pool and the gym to keep ourselves busy,” she said.
The organiser of the trip, a local travel agency, even put together a dinner party for passengers to celebrate the New Year, she told the newspaper.
The latest round of smog, which started on New Year’s Eve, has hit all forms of transport across the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area.
The authorities issued the first red alert for fog on Tuesday, affecting northern and eastern areas of the country
Schools have been closed and vehicles ordered to stay off the roads.
A red alert means visibility may fall below 50 metres.