A French fishing vessel reached an Italian cruise ship drifting powerless in the Indian Ocean overnight and was towing it to a nearby Seychelles island, the Seychelles Coast Guard said Tuesday.
Seychelles authorities said they are making arrangements to evacuate people to the island of Descroches and then transfer the more than 1,000 passengers and crew members to the main Seychelles island of Mahe, says msnbc.com.
The Costa Allegra is from the same fleet as the much larger Costa Concordia, which crashed into an Italian island in January in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives.
The Seychelles Coast Guard said two tug boats were expected at the location of the stricken cruise ship later Tuesday.
"They will be towing the Costa Allegra back to Port Victoria in due course and will be given a protection escort by the Seychelles Coast Guard and the Seychelles People's Defence Forces Airwing," the statement added.
The cruise ship's passengers and crew are from 25 countries, including 135 Italians - among them nine Marines to guard against pirate attacks - 127 French, 97 Austrians, 90 Swiss as well as nationals from Britain, Germany, Mauritius, Russia, Slovenia and Spain, according to ABC Online.
After leaving from Port Louis in Mauritius it made its way to Madagascar. It was then due to head to the Seychelles, Oman, Egypt and Jordan before ending its voyage in Savona near Genoa in Italy next month.
Two web cameras on board the ship, which normally transmit live pictures, were shut down earlier on Monday.
There are 212 Italians on board - 126 passengers and 86 crew. The nationalities of the rest of the passengers and crew are not yet known.
Shares in Carnival, the American company that owns Costa Cruises, fell by nearly two per cent on the New York Stock Exchange on news of the accident.
The accident comes weeks after the 950ft-long Costa Concordia rammed into rocks off Giglio, forcing the night-time evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew.
The death toll from the disaster stands at 25, with seven people still missing, informs Telegraph.co.uk.