Joan and Alexander Klein from London were sailing from Mauritius to Cape Town, when they were declared undesirable due to matters beyond their control, Traveller24 has reported.
The couple's dream trip to South Africa quickly turned into a bureaucratic nightmare when their ship docked in Cape Town last week.
According to an SA People interview with the couple's daughter, Michelle Humphreys, the immigration officer declared that their passports had not been exit stamped on their last stay in South Africa in December 2014, when they embarked on a cruise from Cape Town to Singapore.
The couple have been accused of remaining in South Africa illegally for the past 649 days and been issued with a "Declaration of Foreigner as an Undesirable Person", effective immediately, barring them from entering the country for five years.
Humphrey took to social media, saying that the immigration officer refused to look at more than 10 visa stamps in her parents' passports from countries they have passed through in the past two years which "prove irrevocably that they have not been illegally residing in South Africa".
The couple have consulted immigration lawyer Gary Eisenberg, who has advised that it could take months to lift the ban.
The Kleins will now disembark in Namibia on Wednesday –– which is part of the second part of their cruise –– and will fly home via Amsterdam.