A third Australian trip in weeks turns into a ‘nightmare’ after a fungus outbreak prevents entry to New Zealand

A third Australian trip in weeks turns into a ‘nightmare’ after a fungus outbreak prevents entry to New Zealand

A total of three cruise ships in recent weeks in Australian waters have been refused entry to New Zealand and forced to change course due to a buildup of marine fungus.

The Seven Seas Explorer, a luxury cruise ship in the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet, was denied entry into New Zealand waters this week due to what the company described as “higher than allowable levels of algae, barnacles, tubeworms and possible shellfish”. on the hull of the ship, RNZ reported.

The ship left Sydney, Australia on Dec. 29 with plans to call in eight ports and three fjords, and spend three days at sea, but an American passenger on board told Fox News Digital the trip had “turned into a nightmare” and would now take 11 days at sea and one port. Only after that the ship had to wait on the high seas for a cleaning crew to eliminate marine life.

The passenger explained that the trip had become a frustrating ordeal with changing plans, inconsistent messages from the crew, and uncertainty about compensation for the derailed vacation.

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The Seven Seas Explorer cruise docks in Alanya, Turkey on September 4, 2022.
(Mert Kanturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“We’ve been in limbo all day and land in plain sight, and we’re not going anywhere,” said the passenger. “Very little information is available and what we hear is constantly changing.”

“As an option to remain on board for the remainder of the cruise, we are now being told that when we get to Adelaide we can disembark and make our own plans to get home at our own expense and no one on board to assist us with any issues,” the passenger said. “Regent Seven Seas claims its luxury cruises are “Unparalleled experiences.” This is not what we had in mind.”

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The Seas Explorer ships are docked in Adelaide, Australia.
(Digital Fox News)

A spokesperson for Regent Seven Seas Cruises told Fox News Digital that the ship is “currently sailing on a 14-night cruise that passengers commenced on December 29, 2022 and are expected to disembark in Auckland, New Zealand on January 12, 2023.”

The company said it was “committed to working with our local partners around the world to reduce our impact on the environment of the destinations we visit” and explained that local regulations in New Zealand require the hull cleaning of Seas Explorer ships.

“The cleaning has to be done by a company recognized by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, none of which were available at the ports the ship had recently visited or would have visited prior to its planned entry into New Zealand waters,” the spokesperson said. .

The spokesperson said all guests on board were offered a 100% refund of the cruise fare paid only and “a number of guests have chosen to disembark in Adelaide to continue their journey”.

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“We understand and apologize for the inconvenience, frustration, and disappointment this disruption has caused our valued customers, and appreciate their continued understanding,” the statement read.

In recent weeks, two more ships have failed to meet New Zealand’s environmental standards, including the 14-deck, 930-passenger Viking Orion cruise ship that was denied entry to New Zealand ports and stranded for eight days at sea last week due to a… Fox News said Digital It was a “limited amount of standard sea growth.”

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Viking Travels Confirmed in Reuters It will provide passengers with a voucher equivalent to what they paid for the cruise.

Two weeks ago, a Princess Cruise Lines ship known as the Coral Princess was denied entry to New Zealand due to a backlog of sea snails that prompted an apology from the cruise line and a refund of about $100 to passengers and 15% on their next voyage — an amount most passengers on board told the outlet, one passenger told the outlet. The plane “are not happy with it.”

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The Viking Orion cruise ship docked on April 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

The Viking Orion cruise ship docked on April 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
(Udo Weitz/Image Alliance via Getty Images)

All three cruise ships failed to meet New Zealand’s “biofouling standards”, which are designed to prevent invasive species from damaging coral reefs.

“If they get to our coral reefs, they can destroy the environment and cause serious problems,” said Sophie Lauterme, associate professor at Flinders University. AAP says.

Fox News Digital has contacted New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

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