Cmdr. Filippo Marini, however, said it was not a full-fledged investigation.
"This is a first assessment," Marini said. "It is not an active investigation."
A representative of the cruise ship company Costa Crociere said Wednesday that an investigation needs to be carried out before a determination is made as to whether the fire was an accident or set deliberately. The official said that investigators from the International Maritime Authority could also investigate. The official said he was not authorized to be identified.
Barbano said that while the investigation is still under way "arson is very unlikely."
In a bit of good news for the passengers, Costa said that 378 of the 600-plus guests took Costa up on their offer for a paid two-week holiday in the Seychelles after arriving in port. Others will be given flights to Europe within hours of their arrival at port.
Three planes with a seating capacity of at least 580 passengers were lined up to fly the passengers of the cruise ship Costa Allegra back to Rome, Gilbert Faure, the chief executive of the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority said Wednesday.
The Costa official said passengers could choose to be flown to Italy, Germany or France.
Costa said soft drinks and food such as fruit, cold cuts, cheeses and fresh bread have been available to passengers, along with mineral water for personal hygiene needs. They said the situation is "regular" and the weather is good.
The French fishing vessel began towing the Costa Allegra, at first to a small, nearby island, but later to the Seychelles main port, Victoria. Officials indicated that the more than 1,000 passengers and crew are on board the Costa Allegra would have overwhelmed the resources on the tiny resort island Desroches.
Monday's fire came only six weeks after the Costa Concordia hit a reef and capsized off Italy, killing 25 people and leaving seven missing and presumed dead. No one was injured in the fire Monday, but passengers have been without power, communications and air conditioning since the accident.
The Allegra, whose Italian name means "merry," or "happy," left northern Madagascar, off Africa's southeast coast, on Saturday and was cruising toward Port Victoria when the fire erupted. Costa said the Allegra had been due in Port Victoria on Tuesday.
The liner is carrying 413 crew members and 627 passengers, including 212 Italians, 31 Britons and eight Americans.
The Seychelles is a chain of resort islands that attracts celebrities and royalty. The population is only 87,000 people.
President James A. Michel gave his annual state of the nation speech on Thursday, in which he said that the country needs to open itself to new tourist markets, especially emerging markets. Reflecting the island's relaxed atmosphere, the president delivered the speech without a tie or jacket on.
Michel said he anticipates 5 percent growth in the tourism sector this year but that it must overcome issues like an economic downturn in Europe as well as Somali piracy, which Michel labeled a "serious threat" to the island nation's tourism industry.
Morgan said that almost no cruise ships stopped in the Seychelles in 2009 because of piracy, but that the numbers are picking up as security in the region improves because of navies from the Seychelles and other nations.
"We are seeing a progressive increase in the number of ships coming into port now and we hope that trend will continue," Morgan said.
Associated Press writers Victor L. Simpson and Colleen Barry in Rome and Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report.
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