Suspected fungal infestation on the hull: passengers stranded on an infected cruise ship

Around 800 passengers want to spend the turn of the year on a cruise from New Zealand to Australia.

Suspected fungal infestation on the hull: passengers stranded on an infected cruise ship

Around 800 passengers want to spend the turn of the year on a cruise from New Zealand to Australia. But they see little or nothing of the two island states: Several ports refuse entry to the "Viking Orion" because "bio-fouling" is spreading on the hull.

Hundreds of passengers have been forced to spend the New Year on a cruise ship off the Australian coast because it is not allowed to dock in any port. As the Australian Associated Press news agency reports, "maritime growth" has formed on the hull of the ship, which is suspected to be a fungal infestation. The "Viking Orion" would therefore have refused entry to four ports.

According to the information, the ship left Wellington, New Zealand, on Boxing Day with a course for Australia. Even before the first planned stop in Christchurch, however, a larger accumulation of algae, plants, microorganisms and small animals on the hull was found, known in the professional world as "bio-fouling". The "Viking Orion" was then also denied entry in Dunedin, New Zealand, and in Hobart, the capital of Australia's island state of Tasmania.

The ship then set course for Adelaide, but was also not allowed to dock in the Australian coastal city. The Australian Maritime Authority ordered that the hull must first be cleaned outside Australian waters. The cruise line responsible, Viking Cruises, then hired professional divers who are currently removing the growth. After cleaning, the ship is scheduled to dock in Melbourne on Monday.

Many passengers do not understand the canceled stops. An American speaks on Twitter of a "hell trip" that "ruined" New Zealand and Australia for her. Another passenger spoke of about "800 angry passengers" suffering because of Viking Cruises' negligence. The cruise line wants to offer passengers compensation after the end of the cruise.