March 1, 2012 at 2:51 AM ET
VICTORIA, Seychelles -- A stricken cruise ship arrived in port in the island nation of the Seychelles on Thursday morning after three days at sea without power.
A French tuna fishing boat towed the Costa Allegra toward the port in Victoria, where a line of ambulances, a Red Cross medical team and a fleet of small buses was waiting.
Passengers lined the railings and a few began to clap as the vessel drew close to the crowded dock Thursday morning.
The Costa Allegra, which is owned by the company whose giant liner smashed into rocks off Italy last month, suffered an engine-room fire which knocked out the ship's main power supply on Monday, disabling the engines in waters prowled by pirates.
The blaze left the ship with no toilets, showers, lights or air conditioning.
A team from Costa Cruises, a unit of the U.S. cruise line giant Carnival Corp., boarded the Costa Allegra on Wednesday to make arrangements for hotel accommodation and onward flights for the 636 passengers and 413 crew once they land.
More than 600 airline seats and 400 rooms had been reserved, the cruise company said.
Costa Cruises said 376 passengers out of 627 had accepted its offer to continue their holiday in the Seychelles, where a carnival kicks off on Friday, at the firm's expense. The other passengers will fly home.
Travel agents flocked to the port, waiting to help passengers ashore.
"The focus of the operation is to get them a warm meal and a shower," said Guillaume Albert, head of Creole Travel Service. "I think the happy ending is the people coming off the boat."
The average age of passengers is 55 years, he said.
The fire came only six weeks after the Costa Concordia, owned by the same company, hit a reef and capsized off Italy, killing 25 people and leaving seven missing and presumed dead. No one was injured in the fire Monday.
The Allegra, whose Italian name means "merry," or "happy," left northern Madagascar, off Africa's southeast coast, on Saturday and was cruising toward Port Victoria when the fire erupted. The liner was carrying 413 crew members and 627 passengers, including 212 Italians, 31 Britons and eight Americans.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.