Cruises from hell: ‘We hoped not to die’
FOR most, the thought of taking a cruise conjures up images of a ship slowly sailing off into the open sea as the setting sun casts a golden glow on calm waters.
But jaw-dropping footage filmed by terrified tourists reveals how life on board a luxury liner can sometimes be far from shipshape.
The dramatic scenes, to be aired in the upcoming documentary Cruises From Hell: Caught On Camera, show passengers on voyages from hell.
The Sun reports one video shows a couple in red life jackets desperately clinging to a handrail as a storm pummels the boat they're on.
Another shows a ferry engulfed in flames and thick black smoke.
In other scenes, 9m waves are seen crashing against the window of a Royal Caribbean ship last year - at one point submerging the entire window.
"We're staying in one place hoping not to die," one of the men can be heard saying half-jokingly as winds of more than 190km/h whip up the sea.
Huge waves crash against the glass as people in the background can be heard laughing nervously.
Passengers had earlier been warned to stay in their cabins by the captain, who told them the ship was at a standstill in an effort to ride out the storm.
The vessel was trying to get to Port Canaveral in Florida but was eventually forced to return to New Jersey.
The TV show also captures the dangerous tilt of a ship as a passenger can be seen stumbling almost at a 45-degree angle down a corridor.
The footage was filmed on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas ship, which was carrying around 4500 guests and 1600 crew members at the time.
At the time, one passenger, Jacob Ibrag, took to Twitter to tell of the terror on board the luxury liner.
"Hungry, tired and seeking prayer from all of you tonight. The #anthemoftheseas has been rocking with no end in sight," he wrote.
"Don't think I've ever missed land this much. In other news, wish I took those swimming lessons…
"Mother nature decided to take us all for a ride. Just wonder if this storm system could've been avoided."
The hour-long documentary, which airs on the UK's Channel 4 this week, highlights what can go wrong when people venture out into open water.
Survivors who faced extraordinary weather, fires and even sinkings will reveal their near-death experiences while psychologists examine the anxiety people can suffer from at sea.
The show will go over the deadly December 2014 fire on board an Anek Line ferry and the shortcomings of rescue operations at sea.
Twelve people died when the Norman Atlantic ship, carrying over 500 passengers and crew, caught fire while making its way to the Italian city of Ancona from Patras, in Greece.
Rescue operations included risky helicopter extractions as some of the lifeboats had been destroyed by the fire.