January 31, 2023

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The ship is not stopped for several days due to fungal infestation

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including: Romina Kunze

About 800 passengers have been stranded on the cruise ship for several days. Due to harmful fungal infestation on the hull, many ports have issued a berthing ban.

Kassel – It must have been an unforgettable beautiful trip: a trip lasting several days the ship New Year’s Eve from New Zealand to Australia. “A deep insight into the culture of Australia and New Zealand” is mentioned in the beautiful itinerary of the cruise company “Viking Ocean Cruises”. Also: “Only Vikings bring you so close to the “Land Down Under”.

Indeed, “Viking Orion” passengers won’t soon forget the trip; However, for a different reason than the one described by the shipping company. Because passengers are stuck on board for days, and many ports prevent them from docking. The reason for the mooring ban should be given The Guardians and news agency Australian Associated Press A fungal infection was reported on top of the ship.

Caught on the high seas: Viking Cruises’ “Viking Orion” was not allowed to dock due to a fungal infection on the ship’s hull. © Michael Schöne/Imago

No Land in Sight: Tourists stranded at sea since the voyage began

What happened? On Boxing Day, the ship left New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, for the port of Christchurch. So far so good. However, during the first phase in the sea parallel to the east coast of New Zealand, the Australian Marine Environmental Protection Agency (National Marine Coordination Centre) found a small amount of so-called biomass. These are harmful microorganisms from plants, algae and animals.

Then I heard a noise The Guardians Australian authorities banned “Orion” from continuing its journey. Authorities fear that harmful species could be introduced into inland waters. Before cleaning the infection, it should not be created; Not even for cleaning. According to the British newspaper, this means that four planned stops – Christchurch, Dunedin, Hobart and Adelaide – have already fallen into the water, and 800 passengers have been stranded since the cruise started.

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New Year's Eve 2022 at Sydney Harbour.
The 2022 New Year fireworks display at Sydney Harbor in Australia was very beautiful. And for the passengers aboard “Viking Orion”? Probably not. They got stuck in the sea. © Imago

“Ship from hell”: Passengers are furious on social media

Professional divers are required to steam clean the ship while “Orion” is outside Australian territorial waters. Then the journey will continue as planned. But is that what all the guests on deck want? Doubt that. At least one disgruntled passenger tweeted: “This is a very surreal and scary experience. I suspected before they announced that we would miss another port. Now all I want to do is get off this ship and go home.

Another Twitter user, believed to be on board, reports “a trip from hell,” and another writes that “800 passengers, mostly Americans, are disappointed and angry at the cruise line’s “negligence.” Disappointment after two years of waiting, planning, anticipation, and money.

From anger, compassion to cynicism: The ship incident is hotly debated on Twitter

Mixed reactions on Twitter. While some users sympathize with stranded passengers, others are less understanding and advise against travel in general. One user cynically writes: “Snapshot is nature’s wonderful response to these destructive marine invaders polluting the oceans for the greed of tourism.”

The question arises as to how the incident took place; That could not have been prevented. One Twitter user commented on the traveler’s post: “The rules are very clearly defined in this case. It’s about imports where species are not observed and the shipping company is not following procedure.” She guesses an example is being made. Because control is not difficult, but expensive. All “Orion” passengers now pay the price for this.

Fungus on the hull: Shipping company regrets

After all, cruise guests should be compensated for the inconvenience of the trip. It is reported that The Guardians. In a letter to passengers, Viking Ocean Cruises is said to have already said it was self-critical: “We recognize that the current cruise falls short of your expectations.” Immediately after the cruise, a member of the customer service team will contact the reporting guests, which is the promise of the cruise line.

“Viking is keen to keep you as a passenger for life, and we hope to see you on one of our ships in the future under less exceptional circumstances.” An insight that is never lacking when it comes to shipwrecks. Just a recent experience Aida’s guests experienced several unpleasant surprises during their nearly four-week trip. (Romina Kunze)