'Biofoul' cruise liner finally allowed to dock
STORY: Viking Cruises will compensate hundreds of passengers on its Orion cruise ship, after it was finally able to dock in Sydney on Wednesday (January 4).
Vacationers were forced to stay on board and miss stops because officials blocked port access in New Zealand waters
That was after small amounts of biofoul – plants, algae and small animals – were found on the vessel.
The 930-guest capacity vessel was due to take cruisers on a 15-day, 9-stop tour of New Zealand and Australia.
However, this time it had to bypass stops in Tasmania and New Zealand’s south island.
Professional divers then cleared the hull of biofoul 12 miles outside of Australia’s Adelaide port.
Stranded on board for eight days, Miami-based lawyer Julie Reby Waas said missing scheduled stops like Tasmania was "enormously disappointing":
“Most of the people I think on the ship have kept their cool and have maintained a sense of humour. I think everybody is very tired of it. The ship is beautiful, but you know, there’s only so much space to explore.”
Viking confirmed to Reuters in a statement that all guests would receive a voucher equal to what they had paid for use on any future voyages.
Tickets for a 15-day Auckland to Sydney cruise range from around $6,000 to over $22,000 on the company's website.
Last month, New Zealand officials blocked entry for another Viking vessel after finding snails on its hull.