Hundreds of British tourists have been stranded in Madeira as police detain cruise ship

The cruise ship Van Gogh is being held by Portuguese police.

The ship, which is carrying about 460 passengers, was held shortly after entering Funchal port on Tuesday. It is understood it is due to a complaint lodged by administrators of the previous operator Travelscope, regarding an outstanding debt.

Current operator Van Gogh Cruise Line Ltd said its lawyers are liaising with authorities. The ship, which set sail on 4 January from Falmouth on a round-the-world trip, was due back in Falmouth on Saturday.

Passengers are allowed to leave the ship and have praised the ‘Dunkirk’ spirit on board, although they have yet to be told when the situation will be resolved. An announcement is expected today to update passengers on the situation.