Spain to deport by plane Bolivians stranded on cruise in Barcelona without valid visas

Three children and parent of one of them stay because of family links in Catalonia, 65 other passengers to return to their home country

The MSC Bellissima cruise ship docked in Barcelona in 2022
The MSC Bellissima cruise ship docked in Barcelona in 2022 / Laura Fíguls
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 11, 2024 12:16 PM

April 11, 2024 12:17 PM

Spain will deport by plane 65 of the 69 Bolivians who have been stranded on a cruise ship in Barcelona port since April 2, after reaching the Catalan capital without valid visas to enter the Schengen Area.

Passengers traveled from Brazil with MSC Armonia cruise ship but could not disembark in the Catalan capital because their visas were not valid. The flight to return these passengers is scheduled for Thursday, as the Spanish newspaper El País first reported, and was later confirmed by the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

The MSC company will pay for the flight which will see 65 passengers return home. The other four passengers - three siblings, two of whom are minors, and the daughter of the older sibling - will stay in Catalonia because they have family connections in the territory.

Their parents live in Catalonia, and one of them has Spanish citizenship.

After docking in Barcelona on April 2, passengers were denied disembarking because they lacked valid visas. Since then, some have requested asylum, but such petitions have not been granted.

With one day behind schedule, the vessel left Barcelona on April 4 with 1,500 passengers. The 69 stranded Bolivians temporarily stayed in another MSC cruise while a solution was found.