THE wife of tragic James Swinstead who died aboard the Marco Polo cruise ship said she was offered 25 per cent off her next holiday as recompense.

Helen Swinstead was dining with husband James, 85, in the Waldorf Room on the sixth deck of the cruise liner when a freak wave blasted through four windows.

One of the windows fell on Mr Swinstead, of Eight Ash Green, killing his almost immediately.


The Walform Room.

Now Mrs Swinstead, 82, has criticised Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), the company which runs the Marco Polo, for offering her a discount on her next cruise.

She said: “They offered me 25 per cent off my next cruise.

“I don’t think that would tempt me back.

“At least not until that ship is up to standard.”

Gazette: Widow Helen Swinstead at Tilbury Docks this morning.

The couple had decided to take the cruise of a lifetime in a bid to avoid the British weather.

But it ended in disaster when Mr Swinstead died on Friday just one day before the vessel was due to dock at Tilbury.

The Marco Polo was cleared to set sail on Sunday night carrying 791 passengers on 14-night cruise to Norway and the Land of the Northern Lights, following an inspection.

A CMV spokesman would not comment directly on Mrs Swinstead’s claims but Christian Verhounig, chief executive of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers and their families affected during this difficult time." 

An inquest into Mr Swinstead’s death is due to open this week.