Cruise ship banned from docking in Australia due to fungal growth on hull
A cruise ship has been prevented from docking in Australia due to fungal growth on the ship’s hull, according to statements released by the cruise line and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). ).
DAFF’s National Marine Coordination Center was notified of “small amounts of biofouling” on the Viking Orion’s hull on December 28, DAFF said, adding that biofouling is a common accumulation of micro-organisms, plants, d algae or small animals on the hulls of ships.
According to the DAFF, the management of this biofouling is standard practice for all incoming international ships.
“To protect marine ecosystems in Australian waters, the vessel is to undergo a hull cleaning to remove biofouling and prevent the transport of potentially harmful marine organisms through the vessel,” the DAFF said in its statement, adding that professional divers were cleaning the hull while the ship was anchored outside Australian waters, around 12 nautical miles off the port of Adelaide in the state of South Australia.
“Although the ship had to miss several stops on this route to complete the required cleaning, it is expected to sail for Melbourne as planned on January 1, and we expect the planned route to resume fully by January 2. January,” a statement released by Viking said.
The statement adds that Viking is working directly with customers on compensation due to the impact on their trip.
DAFF also confirmed that under the current itinerary, the ship – which can accommodate 930 passengers – is expected to arrive in Melbourne on January 2.
Although this is the first cruise ship-related incident of 2023, it is not the first of Australia’s summer season.
In November 2022, a cruise ship docked in Sydney with several hundred Covid-positive passengers on board. Everyone who tested positive – including passengers and crew – was isolated on the ship away from others.
The ship, Majestic Princess operated by Carnival, was able to continue the remainder of its Australian itinerary.
Pictured above: The Viking ship Orion in 2018.