More than 1 500 passengers unknowingly spent their four-day luxury cruise holiday with a dead body aboard, after a fellow traveller died just hours into the journey.
Wu Chih-huang (43) died of a suspected heart attack on SuperStar Aquarius, operated by Hong Kong-based Star Cruises.
The cruise ship left Taiwan’s northern port of Keelung at 17:00 on March 31 and took tourists to the cities of Miyakojima and Naha in Japan before returning again.
Wu began vomiting and complained of chest pain hours after the ship setting off.
He was sent to the sick bay but died at 02:00 the following morning, Star Cruises said in a statement.
None of the passengers were aware of the incident, as Wu’s body was moved to a freezer below deck, Taiwanese media reports.
Star Cruises said it “immediately informed Taiwan’s coast guard administration of the incident and contacted the passenger’s family”.
But Wu’s younger brother claims they learnt of the tragedy through the coastguard only and that the company had made no contact with the family until the ship returned to Keelung on April 3.
They were then told to go “collect his corpse”, he told local media.
The family says it received no further condolences from Star Cruises or an apology for failing to contact them at the time of death.
The Keelung district prosecutors’ office and coast guard administration have ruled out foul play but investigations continue.
Cruise ships are equipped with body bags and mortuaries in the event of a passenger’s death….