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Stricken ship's cruise cancelled

The next cruise of a fire-hit ocean liner now being towed to port has been cancelled.

The 113,000-tonne Carnival Splendor had been due to leave Long Beach in California on a seven-day cruise on Sunday.

But the stricken vessel, with 16 Britons among the 3,300 passengers, suffered an engine room fire on Monday morning off the coast of Mexico.

And with the vessel now being towed towards San Diego in southern California, the Carnival cruise company has scrapped Sunday's voyage.

Carnival said passengers scheduled to sail on the cancelled trip would receive a full refund as well as air transport costs and a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The vessel was due to arrive in San Diego late on Wednesday following the fire which left passengers without air conditioning, hot food and toilet facilities for a while.

Those on the current voyage are getting a full refund and reimbursement for transport costs as well as a complimentary future cruise equal to the amount paid for the curtailed seven-day Mexican Riviera sailing which had started from Long Beach in California last Sunday.

Carnival president and chief executive Gerry Cahill said: "We sincerely apologise to our guests for this unfortunate situation and offer our thanks for their patience and cooperation during this challenging time.

"The safety and comfort of our guests is our top priority and we are doing everything we can to allow them to return home as quickly as possible. We also apologise for having to cancel the next voyage of the Carnival Splendor."

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