Hundreds of passengers were stranded on the cruise ship

Instead of a relaxing start to the year, hundreds of vacationers find themselves caught in the water. Anchoring is impossible due to growth on the ship’s hull.

Due to the corona pandemic, some passengers on “Viking Orion” waited years to travel. But the voyage from New Zealand to Australia has now failed. A total of around 800 guests are currently stranded in front of Australia. Several ports in Australia and New Zealand have banned the nearly 230-metre vessel from entering.

According to a report by the Australian Associated Press, the reason for this forced hiatus is “ocean growth” on the “Viking Orion” crust. This is probably a fungal attack, referred to in technical jargon as “biofouling”. The Australian Maritime Commission has ordered a thorough cleaning of the hull to prevent contamination of the docks. Only after this can the cruise ship be stopped again.

Cleaning with specialized divers is not enough

The Viking Cruise Company, which owns the “Orion”, has been cleared of infestation by professional divers. Passengers said on Sunday that the captain canceled that stop as well, after passengers believed it would allow the next stop scheduled for Monday in Melbourne. According to one traveler on Twitter, a two-day special cleaning is also required.

Already on Boxing Day, shortly after the cruise started, the problem of “biofouling” became apparent, and no further shore leave was possible thereafter. Four of the eight regular stops have been canceled so far, with the recently canceled stop at Melbourne being the fifth.

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