At least six passengers and one member of the ship’s crew were left injured after a mass brawl broke out aboard the cruise ship Britannia, operated by the British cruise line P&O.
The brawl, reportedly started by a passenger dressed as a clown, took place in the early hours of Friday morning during the return leg of a week-long cruise to Norway’s fjords after afternoon of “patriotic” partying on deck, reports The Guardian.
The fight reportedly started when a passenger, part of a family group, arrived at the buffet dressed as a clown. Another member of the family group became upset because they’d specifically booked a cruise without any fancy dress planned.
The situation escalated rapidly and ended up with the group of six using furniture and plates as weapons. Other passengers hid beneath the tables in fear as an emergency call for security was sent over the ship’s PA system.
Six people, including three women, were assaulted during the fight, resulting in a series of injuries including “significant bruising and cuts”, according to Hampshire police, who arrested the group when the ship docked a few hours later.
“The buffet area was immediately sealed off as medical teams went to help the injured,” an ITV reported on-board the ship said on Twitter. “Staff told me they’d never experienced anything like it and those behind the violence were confined to a cabin for the last day of the cruise, waiting for police here in Southampton.”
A P&O Cruises spokesman said: “Following an incident on-board Britannia on Thursday evening we can confirm that all guests have now disembarked and the matter is now in the hands of the local police.”
While more than 28-million people go a cruise annually, with large amounts of alcohol consumed each night, brawls such as that aboard P&O’s Britannia are rare.
The last such incident occurred in 2018, when a 23-member family group aboard the Carnival Legend got into a midnight brawl with one another, causing pandemonium aboard the ship as crew tried to prevent them fighting with one another.
Two dozen passengers were injured and the ship was forced to make an unscheduled port call to disembark the group.
The last apparent report of fighting aboard a cruise ship before that was in 2015, when two women got into a scrap in the queue for Guy’s Burger Joint after the buffet closed early.
One of the women reportedly accused the other of cutting in line, an allegation that was forcefully denied, prompting the accuser to (in the words of YouTuber Dave Smith) ‘throw down’.