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Tuesday 3 January 2023

The menace that could wreck your holiday at sea

Never heard of biofoul? Look out, it could ruin your cruise holiday. 

Passengers on board the Viking Orion cruise ship had their Christmas/New Year cruise experience ruined by biofoul, also known as "dirty hull". 

The passengers are set to be compensated after Viking Orion was denied entry into ports in Australia and New Zealand due to “marine growth” on the ship's hull. 

Cleaning was required to protect Australia’s waters from “potentially harmful marine organisms”, the fisheries department said.

The cruise vessel arrived at the Port of Melbourne on January 2 having not docked since departing from Wellington in New Zealand on Boxing Day. 

The ship was denied permission to dock in Christchurch, Dunedin, and Hobart, before setting course for South Australia, where the National Maritime Coordination Centre established Orion had small amounts of “biofoul” (marine microorganisms, plants, algae, or small animals) on the hull, Cruise Weekly reported. 

Viking Orion was anchored off the coast of Victor Harbour for the cleaning, and before arriving in Melbourne, from where she will continue her cruise as scheduled. 

It is the second such cruise biofoul occurrence this past month. Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess had to have its hull cleaned in December after it was infested with snails. 

UPDATE: Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer has been refused entry into the port of Nelson in New Zealand due to a “dirty hull”.

The ship has been re-routed to the coast of South Australia, where its hull will be cleaned, Cruise Weekly reports.

It will then return Auckland, stopping at none of its remaining ports of call. RSSC president Andrea DeMarco has said the line will provide a 50% refund on each guest’s cruise only fare, and will also issue a 50% future cruise credit based on the cruise-only fare. 

Which doesn't help a whole lot if your vacation has been ruined. 

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