By Evie Carrick
July 23, 2019
Nafplion city, Bourtzi island and a cruise ship, Peloponnese, Greece
Credit: Getty Images

Cruise ship passengers are used to seeing all sorts of sights — sprawling cities, distant islands, a dolphin or two — but a cruise ship sailing through the Mediterranean Sea last weekend came across an unlikely scene: a boat of 111 migrants stranded off the coast of Greece.

Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery was sailing near Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula on Saturday night, when a small vessel was spotted approximately 46 miles (or 40 nautical miles) off the coast. The cruise ship responded by rescuing 111 migrants, including 33 children, from the sea.

After making the rescue, the Marella Discovery was met at the port of Kalamata by Greek coast guard officials. The coast guard refused to share where the migrants were from or where their boat had departed, but Deutsche Welle reports that two people who were operating the migrant boat were arrested.

As of April 3, 2019, the International Organization for Migration reports that 12,174 migrants and refugees have entered Europe via the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year. During that time, 356 people have died while trying to cross the sea. Most migrants are hoping to reach Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain, or Cyprus. The International Organization for Migration notes on their website that the Mediterranean migrant route has seen over half of the total migrant deaths as of April 3.