The 930-guest Viking Orion docked in Sydney on Wednesday, the final stop on a 15-day cruise with nine stops in New Zealand and Australia.
But local media reported that the plans went awry after New Zealand officials asked the ship to leave the country’s waters partly during its cruise after finding small amounts of organisms – plants, algae and small animals – growing on the ships’ hulls.
Steaming directly into Port Adelaide in South Australia and bypassing planned stops in Tasmania and New Zealand’s South Island, officials stopped the ship about 12 nautical miles out to sea while professional divers cleared the hull.
The four-year-old luxury liner finished her voyage as planned with stops in Melbourne and Sydney.
Stranded on the ship for eight days, barrister Julie Rippy-Wass said it was “extremely disappointing” that it would not dissuade her from sailing again.
“I think most of the people on board kept their cool and kept their sense of humour,” Rebbe Fass told Reuters.
“I think everybody’s tired of it. The ship is nice, but you know, there’s only so much space to explore, and so I think (it’s) claustrophobic in some ways.”
Viking confirmed to Reuters in a statement that all guests will receive a voucher equal to the amount they have already paid for using it on any future flights.
Tickets for a 15-day Auckland to Sydney cruise departing January 10 range in price from A$8,995 ($6,066.23) to A$29,995 ($20,341) on the Viking website.
Viking’s Orion is the second cruise ship to run afoul of New Zealand officials in the past month. New Zealand fisheries officials stopped the Coral Princess cruise ship from entering the country’s waters in December after snails were found on its hull.
TOP: A file photo of the Viking Orion cruise ship in 2020. Photo by Getty Images.
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