Italian cruise ship the Costa Allegra is adrift without engine power off the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.
A total of 1,052 people are aboard the ship, including 636 passengers. They are in good health and were informed promptly of the situation, according to authorities.
The Allegra left Madagascar on Sunday and was due to arrive at the Seychelles on Tuesday. The fire broke out about 250 miles from the archipelago and the ship is now drifting without power in the Indian Ocean.
The shipboard fire-extinguishing system and procedures were promptly activated and the special fire-fighting squads intervened to extinguish the fire, a company statement said.
Inspections on the state of the engine room are ongoing in order to restart the necessary equipment to reactivate the functionality of the ship.
Local authorities have been notified by the Italian Coast Guard, and cargo ships have been alerted to come to the rescue. A plane, a motorboat and two tugboats have been sent from the Seychelles to aid in the rescue, a Costa spokesperson said. The Allegra's communications are still operating, although the online ship tracker has been disabled.
Costa Crociere is the same cruising company that owned the ill-fated Costa Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy in January. At least of 25 were killed after the ship ran aground and sank near Tuscany's Giglio island, and rescuers are still pulling bodies from the ship, which is currently perched on a rocky reef.
The sinking of the Concordia was largely blamed on the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, who made an unauthorized change of course in order to salute the parents of a crew member who lived on Giglio. The incident became a national tragedy in Italy, where the consequences of the disaster are still being felt -- a number of passengers have sued the company, Schettino has been charged with manslaughter, and the clean-up of the ship is expected to run into the summer vacation season.
Although it's part of the same fleet, the Allegra is considerably older than its sister, the Concordia. While the Concordia was a state of the art, $500 million ship christened in 2006, the Allegra has been sailing since 1969 and has had a number of owners, names and purposes.
The ship first sailed as a container ship for the Sweden-based Rederi AB Nordstjernan company. After being bought by two cruise companies -- once in 1986 and again in 1988 -- the ship remained unused until it was sold to Costa in 1992.
As it changed hands, the vessel changed names. It started as the MS Annie Johnson, then became Regent Moon, the Alexandra and finally, the Costa Allegra.
Costa gave the ship a complete reconstruction and the Annie Johnson is almost unrecognizable in the Allegra.
With a new set of engines, a new 44 ft (13.4 m) midsection, a completely new superstructure and a new lease of life, Costa Allegra could as well be called a new ship when she re-entered service in November of 1992, wrote ShipParade in 2005.
The ship is 616 feet long, weighs 28,597 tons and can carry a total of 1,066 passengers.