Ports in New Zealand and Australia refused port calls to the cruise ship Viking Orion due to biofouling problems.
More specifically, New Zealand officials denied the cruise ship stops in Christchurch on the South Island and Dunedin. After that, the cruise ship was scheduled to proceed to Hobart, Australia on Tasmania, but the Australian officials also blocked its entry into local water.
The ship then proceeded to Adelaide on the south coast of Australia, but before arriving the captain advised the passengers that the ship would be holding offshore to correct the problem.
According to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), “the vessel is required to undergo hull cleaning to remove the biofouling and prevent potentially harmful marine organisms being transported by the vessel.” What is more, local media have misreported the fouling as a “fungus” on the hull.
As a result, the Viking Orion remained approximately 17 nautical miles off the coast of Adelaide, where professional divers were brought in to clean the hull. A spokesperson for Viking confirmed;
While the ship needed to miss several stops on this itinerary in order for the required cleaning to be conducted, she is expected to sail for Melbourne as planned on January 1, and we are expecting the scheduled itinerary to resume completely by January 2
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