A cruise ship carrying 2,000 passengers was greeted by protesters who threw stones and screamed at the crew as they tried to dock in Reunion Island because they thought the ship was infected with coronavirus.
Police were forced to use tear gas to end the ugly clash after 30 locals from the French Republic, east of Madagascar, gathered as the Sun Princess docked on March 1.
Protesters were concerned people on board could be carrying coronavirus after the ship docked in Thailand in early February.
The disease has infected more than 88,000 people in 60 countries across the globe, killing at least 3,000.
Demonstrators refused to let passengers, who are mostly from Australia and New Zealand, disembark the ship, and threw bottles and rocks at security who tried to usher people past.
They were eventually stopped by heavily armed police, who used tear gas to get protesters under control.
Passengers on the Sun Princess (pictured during a different voyage) were heckled by protesters when they arrived at Reunion Island
French police officers arrest a demonstrator in Le Port on March 1, 2020, as people protest against the arrival of the passengers of the Sun Princess cruise ship
There have been no confirmed - or suspected - cases on board the ship and passengers were furious at the treatment they received, one couple told NZHerald.
Rod Pascoe, 67, and his wife embarked on the seven week trip of a lifetime on January 20, leaving Adelaide a for a round-trip to Singapore, Thailand, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa and Reunion Island.
The cruise cost at least $10,000 per person.
On February 13, the ship was refused entry to Madagascar for the same reason.
The cruiseliner had recently docked in Thailand and authorities were concerned passengers would still be within the 14 day incubation period for the disease.
Police officers were at the demonstration and were forced to use tear gas on a group of about 30 protesters
Guests on board the ship (pictured on the ship last week) have not been forced to wear masks or taken any precautions regarding coronavirus
More than 30 days has passed since the stopover in Thailand. Passengers believe there was no reason for the reception they received when they arrived in the Pointe des Gallets port on Sunday morning.
About 300 passengers were still able to visit the island because they left through a different exit.
But Mr Pascoe, who is from New Zealand, said everybody on board was rattled by the experience.
'Some passengers were very distressed and others absolutely steaming, fuming when they got back,' Mr Pascoe said.
'People feared for their safety.'
Mr Pascoe said concerns surrounding coronavirus have completely overshadowed the trip.
So far, more than 88,000 people have been infected with the disease across 60 countries.
French police were waiting as the Sun Princess docked in their port because people were ready to protest over fears passengers could introduce coronavirus
Rod Pascoe, 67, and his wife (pictured together) embarked on the seven week trip of a lifetime on January 20, leaving Fremantle in Western Australia for a round-trip to Singapore, Thailand, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa and Reunion Island
The Sun Princess cruise ship arriving in Australia the day before it was set to depart from Western Australia
The death toll soared to 3,000 overnight.
Last month, passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined in Japan following an outbreak on board.
More than 700 people on the ship caught the disease, including seven who have since died.
On Sunday, a 78-year-old man from Western Australia became the first Australian - and seventh passenger - to succumb to coronavirus.
Reunion Island hasn't reported any confirmed cases of the disease among the 900,000 strong population, but concerns are mounting as global authorities warn of a potential pandemic.
Yannis Latchimy, a protester at the demonstration, told local media he simply wanted passengers to undergo thorough testing before mingling with his people.
'Of course we are not against the arrival of tourists, they are necessary for the development of our economy. We just want to be sure that there is no risk of the coronavirus propagating,' he said.
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Protesters threw rocks (pictured) and bottles at security who tried to keep them at bay as passengers disembarked the ship
On board the ship, nobody is sick and there have been no concerns over coronavirus. (Pictured: passengers and staff on board the Sun Princess)
'We don't know if these people are sick, they were not tested. It