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Cruising company that sent passengers to Madagascar’s plague epidemic to pay fine

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 9, 2019
Costa Crociere
World   Costa Crociere

The Italian Competition Authority imposed a fine of two million euros on Costa Crociere after ascertaining an improper commercial practice.

The aforementioned business did not provide consumers with correct and timely information about the Madagascar’s state of health emergency when selling and organizing two cruises named "neoRiviera" and "Paradisi sul mare", while also hindering the exercise of consumer rights pertaining to travel schedule changes.

Following the plague epidemic that occurred in Madagascar beginning in August 2017, Costa Crociere modified the stopovers scheduled for the cruises in question departing in October and December 2017, respectively, without providing consumers with timely communication; said consumers were informed of the need to change the originally planned itinerary after departure in the first case and right before the departure date in the second case.

The timing and manner in which the schedule changes were communicated effectively hindered consumer choices; consumers should have had the right to decide whether to withdraw from the contract or take advantage of the cruise without the stops planned in Madagascar, in this case with a reasonable price reduction.

Costa Crociere should have implemented all the necessary measures to make consumers aware, from first contact and in any case before departure, of the health risk situation existing in the countries advertised as tourist destinations.

On the contrary, Costa Crociere continued to advertise and sell the cruises in question, including stops in Madagascar, even after health emergency announcements were made by local authorities and the Ministry of Health, without warning consumers of the possibility of travel schedule changes.

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