Hundreds of passengers are stranded on one Cruise ship in between New Zealand and Australia for over a week. The Viking Orion set sail from Wellington, New Zealand on Boxing Day and would never call at any location again, according to vessel tracking website VesselFinder.com. The reason? According to reports from Australia’s National Maritime Coordination Centre, the ship would have been refused permission to dock due to the presence on board of low levels of ‘biofouling’ or a range of marine microorganisms such as plants, algae or small animals which have become attached to the hull through constant tampering contact with water. And that, if taken to other marine areas, could disrupt the local ecosystem.
Our @VikingCruises Voyage to New Zealand and Australia missed 4 out of 8 ports b/c of dirty/biohazardous hull. 800 people, mostly Americans, are upset and angry at negligence. Viking Orion. Disappointing after 2 years of waiting, anticipation and $$$$. Help please. 🛳️👎
— Kenn Heydrick, EdD (@KHeydrick) December 31, 2022
the next steps
Australian authorities then ordered the Viking Orion to have her hull cleaned before entering territorial waters. “The ship must undergo hull cleaning to remove potentially harmful marine organisms and prevent them from being transported via the ship,” Australia’s Department of Fisheries said on Sunday. A representative of Viking Ocean, the ship’s owning company, said the ship will depart for Melbourne on Sunday immediately after hull cleaning and will resume its itinerary by Monday.