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Elderly Cruise Passengers Claim They Were Tricked into Smuggling Cocaine



An elderly British couple arrested for possessing approximately 20 pounds of cocaine on a cruise ship in Lisbon, Portugal last December are now claiming they were tricked by a mysterious Jamaican businessman.

According to The Sun, 72-year-old Roger Clarke and his wife, 71-year-old Sue claim they were unaware of the the more than $1 million worth of drugs found inside of four suitcases in their cabin aboard the Marco Polo cruise ship, telling authorities that a Jamaican businessman only identified as Lee paid for their cruise, asked them to purchase exotic fruit and instructed them to pick up “empty” cases from a middleman in St. Lucia.

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The couple’s claim doesn’t appear all that strong, however, as they were previously convicted of trafficking cannabis near Norway in 2010 and made contact with drug trafficking organizations multiple times from 2017 to 2018, according to police.

Authorities said that the Clarkes were only living off about $1,106 a month but spent approximately $22,500 on luxury cruises over a two-year period. What’s more, the couple’s diary said they had traveled to Brazil, Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

“It is understood this was in connection with the suspected possession of narcotics. Cruise and Maritime Voyages is cooperating fully with the Portuguese police officials,” a spokesman for British cruise line Cruise and Maritime Voyages told The Guardian in a statement last year, adding that the company “does not tolerate any criminal activity or anti-social behavior on board its ships.”

The couple was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday and could face up to 12 years in jail if convicted.

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SeaDream Yacht Club to Resume Sailing in Norway on June 20



SeaDream Yacht Club, which paused operations in March, plans to start sailing again June 20 in Norway.

The nine new Norwegian voyages on SeaDream I through September include destinations hand-picked by SeaDream’s Norwegian founder and owner, Atle Brynestad.

The Norway program includes seven-day voyages between Oslo and Bergen and a 12-day voyage from Oslo to Tromsø and back – with three days in Lofoten, one of Norway’s premier destinations. SeaDream will offer new Yachting Land Adventures so guests can fully experience each port.

As the Covid-19 pandemic developed, SeaDream was able to avoid contamination but decided to pause operations because of the resulting travel restrictions. The yachts moved to Lisbon where the crew chose to stay on board and have been kept busy doing maintenance and upgrades.

They’re also having some fun – a basketball hoop was installed on the pool deck – and keeping calm and in shape with yoga and other activities. The chefs are designing new dishes, and the deck crew has painted, replaced the teak deck, and performed other maintenance tasks.

SeaDream continues to closely monitor the global health and travel restrictions and can adapt itineraries as needed.

“It has been very apparent from our frequent video calls with the onboard teams that without our guests, the yachts are simply not the same and that the crew genuinely miss serving our loyal guests,” said SeaDream’s Andreas Brynestad.

While SeaDream usually operates in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, the yachts have been to Norway before. But this time they are going north of the Arctic Circle so that guests can experience the midnight sun, the Lofoten Fjords, and Tromsø.

The SeaDream experience is known for its personalized service, five-star cuisine, intimate ports and onboard features such as the Balinese Dream Beds to sleep under the stars and the watersports marina with water toys. For additional details, click here.

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