© 1&1 Mail & Media/spot on news
Updated on 01/02/2023 at 2:24 pm
- A cruise ship turned into a prison for around 800 passengers.
- Because they can’t leave the “Viking Orion” for a week.
- This could be due to harmful marine organisms on the ship’s hull.
In fact, they wanted to celebrate the turn of the year with a cruise from New Zealand to Australia – but then the dream trip turned into a nightmare: because of an infestation of microorganisms in the hull of the ship, the approximately 800 passengers of the “Viking Orion” ” were not allowed to disembark for a week.
Australian news agency AAP reported that a “maritime growth” had formed on the outer wall of the luxury liner, the so-called biofouling. This colonization of organisms can lead to the introduction and spread of non-native species. Australia has very strict rules on biosecurity risks, among other things, to protect its unique flora and fauna.
After the ship sailed from New Zealand’s capital Wellington on Boxing Day, four ports refused to dock: Christchurch and Dunedin in the South Island, as well as Hobart in Tasmania, Australia and Adelaide in South Australia.
“Viking Orion” on its way to Melbourne
Before the ship could make its way to Melbourne, it first had to be cleaned by professional divers outside Australian waters – about 22 kilometers off the coast of the town of Victor Harbor.
“The ship needs to have a clean hull to remove biofouling and prevent potentially harmful marine organisms from being transported from the ship,” the AAP said, citing the Ministry of Fisheries. According to shipfinder.com, the Viking Orion is now on its way to Melbourne.
Viking Cruises said the ship is expected to continue sailing on its scheduled itinerary on Tuesday, although it will have to skip several scheduled stops ashore to carry out necessary cleaning. The captain apologized to the guests. They are to be compensated later for the land leave failure. (dpa/thp)
Teaser image: © picture Alliance / AA/Osman URAS