"Cruise from Hell": ship is not allowed to dock due to fungal infestation - passengers trapped on board
Created: 01/02/2023 13:54
By: Romina Kunze
Around 800 passengers have been trapped aboard a cruise ship for days.
Because of a harmful fungal infestation on the hull, several ports have issued a berthing ban.
Kassel – It should have been an unforgettably beautiful trip: a multi-day cruise from New Zealand to Australia over New Year's Eve.
The picturesque description of the route by the operating shipping company "Viking Curises" speaks of "deep insights into the culture of Australia and New Zealand".
And: "Only Viking brings you so close to the "Land Down Under".
In fact, the passengers of the "Viking Orion" will probably not forget the journey so quickly;
however, for a different reason than that described by the cruise company.
Because the passengers have been stuck on the ship for days, and several ports are preventing them from docking.
According to reports from The Guardian
Australian Associated Press
news agency, the reason for the mooring ban is said to be
a fungal infestation on the hull of the ship.
No land in sight: Cruise passengers trapped at sea since the start of the journey
On Boxing Day, the ship cast off from New Zealand's capital, Wellington, heading for the port of Christchurch.
So far so good.
However, during the first leg at sea parallel to New Zealand's east coast, the Australian marine environment protection agency (National Maritime Coordination Centre) detected a small amount of so-called biofouls.
These are harmful microorganisms from plants, algae and animals.
The 2022 New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney Harbour, Australia was so beautiful.
And for the passengers on board the "Viking Orion"?
They were trapped at sea.
As a result, according to
, the further travel of the "Orion" was prohibited by Australian authorities.
The authority fears that the harmful organisms could be introduced into domestic waters.
Before the infestation is cleaned up, it should not be created;
not even for cleaning work.
According to the British newspaper, this means that four of the planned stops - Christchurch, Dunedin, Hobart and Adelaide - have already fallen into the water and all 800 passengers have been trapped on board since the cruise started.
"Cruise from Hell": Passengers are angry on social media
Now professional divers should clean the cruise steamer while the "Orion" is outside Australian territorial waters.
The journey will then continue as planned.
But is that what all the guests on deck want?
That can be doubted.
At least one disgruntled passenger tweeted: "It was the most surreal and horrific experience.
I suspected before they announced it that we would miss another port.
Now all I want to do is get off this ship and go home."
Caught on the high seas: Due to a fungal infestation on the hull of the ship, Viking Cruises' "Viking Orion" is not allowed to dock.
Another Twitter user, believed to be on board, reports a "cruise from hell" and yet another writes that the "800 passengers, mostly American, passengers are disappointed and angry" at the "negligence" the shipping company.
It is a disappointment after two years of waiting, planning, anticipation and money.
From anger, compassion to cynicism: the cruise incident is hotly debated on Twitter
The reactions on Twitter are mixed.
Some users have sympathy for the passengers trapped on board, others have less understanding and generally advise against cruising.
One user cynically writes: Nature's fantastic response to these destructive sea invaders that are polluting the oceans for the sheer greed of snapshot tourism."
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
The question arises how the incident happened;
and whether it could not have been prevented.
A Twitter user commenting on the passenger's post has a hunch: "The rules on the subject are very clearly defined.
It's about unnoticed imports of species and the shipping company has not followed the procedure. "She guesses an example is being made.
Because the control is not difficult, but expensive.
All passengers of the “Orion” now pay the price for this.
Viking Ocean Cruises
Number of cabins on the Viking Orion
Subsidiary of Viking River Cruises
Fungus on the hull: the cruise company is repentant
After all, the cruise guests should be compensated for the impairment of the trip.
In a letter to the passengers, "Viking" is said to have already been self-critical: "We recognize that the current cruise falls short of your expectations." Immediately after the end of the cruise, a member of the customer service team would contact the guests with suitable compensation offers , so the promise of the shipping company.
"Viking is keen to keep you as a lifelong traveler and we hope to see you on one of our ships in the future in less exceptional circumstances." An insight that is far from always the case when it comes to cruise mishaps comes.
Only recently, Aida guests experienced several nasty surprises during an almost four-week cruise.