Published January 24, 2012
Costa Cruises North America said it has not offered future discounts to passengers on board the cruise that ran aground off the coast of a small island near Italy despite 'unfounded' news reports indicating that passengers were offered up to 30 percent off future voyages.
The company, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation that has a fleet of 15 ships, including the wrecked Costa Concordia, said its priority was to provide the maximum possible assistance and solace to the people on board the Costa Concordia.
"From the outset the company has been fully aware of and saddened by the suffering and hardship endured by guests and crew members, and has acted with this firmly in mind," the statement read.
Costa Cruises called guests by telephone to check on their well being and said they will receive a refund for the trip, the statement read.
The company said travel agents would offer guests who’ve booked future Costa cruises until Feb. 7, 2012, to cancel their booking if they have hesitations after the incident.
The Concordia ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 13 after the captain veered from his approved course and gashed the ship's hull on a reef, forcing the panicked evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew.
The 16 bodies found so far include the one located on the third-floor deck Tuesday. Seven of the badly decomposed bodies remain unidentified and are presumed to be among some of the 17 passengers and crew still unaccounted for. On Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to Italy, David Thorne, was at Giglio's port where he had lunch with relatives of two missing Americans, Gerald and Barbara Heil of Minnesota.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.