After “biofoul” growth on the hull was discovered, cruise ship passengers were left at sea for almost a week. Australian officials refused permission to allow it to dock.
Reports indicate that hundreds of holidaymakers were aboard the ship. Officials say it is 12 nautical miles off the Port of Adelaide, and about 12 nautical miles from Australian waters.
The vessel had to be cleaned to remove biofoul, which is a common accumulation of microorganisms, plants, and small animals. This was done to prevent any potentially harmful marine organisms from being transported aboard the vessel into Australia, according to the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to Sky News.
According to Vessel Finder, the Viking Orion cruise vessel hasn’t docked since leaving Wellington on Monday 26 Dec. and has been at sea almost a week.
According to the DAFF, it was notified that the vessel contained small amounts of biofoul 28 December. It had also engaged the vessel and the Australian Marine Biosecurity Unit to follow standard biofoul management procedures.
It said that professional divers were hired directly by the vessel line to clean and maintain the hull at anchor in Australian waters.
Officials from Australia added that biofoul management is a standard practice for all vessels arriving in Australia.
According to the department, the ship will dock in Melbourne today. However, it is up to the vessel agent to determine the exact arrival time.
Viking Cruises was contacted for comment.
People who claim to be onboard the Viking Orion have tweeted that they believe the ship might not dock in Melbourne.
“And this morning, the captain cancelled (sic), our next port to Melbourne. People are furious… Another day at sea while 2 boats clean the ship’s hull,” Kenn Heydrick stated on January 1.
Dr Megan Remmel tweeted that they were on board and said passengers “no longer get to disembark at Melbourne”. This means that we have missed four ports and will remain on the ship for nearly nine full days.