Travellers enjoying a trip of a lifetime on a cruise ship became ‘stranded’ for nearly a week due to a fungus outbreak.
Passengers boarded the Viking Orion on Boxing Day ahead of a 15-day voyage through New Zealand and Australia.
But by the time they arrived in Wellington, the ship’s captain announced that a ‘marine growth’ had been found on the ship’s hull during an inspection.
As a result, the group would not be permitted to stop in any ports of New Zealand’s South Island.
The ship, which reportedly can carry up to 1,000 passengers, then carried on directly to southern Australia’s city of Adelaide, where a local company had been hired to clean the hull.
But further logistical issues and regulations delayed the process and, again, they weren’t permitted to dock.
Julie Reby Waas and her husband – celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary – were among the stranded passengers.
She said: ‘What we thought was it was really a New Zealand issue. But apparently it was also an Australia issue as well, because we weren’t permitted to go into Adelaide, and it had, the ship had to be cleaned outside of Australian waters.’
According to a statement released by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, the ship was required to ‘remove the biofoul and prevent potentially harmful marine organisms being transported by the vessel.’
Since the cleaning process took longer than expected, the ship was forced to proceed forth to Melbourne.
Julie described the experience of being stuck at sea for eight days and forced to skip out on scheduled stops, especially Tasmania, as ‘enormously disappointing,’ but praised the ship’s crew for their ‘nonstop’ hard work.
She and others walked miles round the cruise ship to keep up their fitness and get fresh air.
Julie said: ‘Most of the people I think on the ship have kept their cool and have maintained a sense of humour. I think everybody is very tired of it.
‘The ship is beautiful, but you know, there’s only so much space to explore, and so I guess (it’s) claustrophobic in some ways.’
Today, January 3, Julie and the other Viking Orion passengers were told they would receive a voucher which would be worth the entire ticket price of the trip, and could be used for future cruises.
The Viking Orion is not alone in its predicament, as another cruise ship, the Coral Princess, was forced to skip out on several ports in New Zealand due to an infestation of snails back in December.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW:
NEVER KNEW THAT FUNGUS WAS A PROBLEM ON A HULL…….ALWAYS THOUGHT THEY SCRAPED SHIP’s HULLS QUITE OFTEN….GUESS THE FOREIGN CRUISE SHIPS ARE NOT AS EAGER TO SCRAPE THEIR HULLS AS WE DO IN THE USA….