Cruise Ship Forced to Change Itinerary for Hull Cleaning

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P&O Australia’s Pacific Adventure cruise ship is set to embark on a journey to New Zealand on February 3, 2023; however, guests onboard the ship have received news that the itinerary has changed due to the cleaning of the ship’s hull. 

The change is necessary before the vessel is allowed into New Zealand due to the strict biosecurity measures established by the New Zealand government. 

The cruise ship Pacific Adventure is one of several cruise ships which the New Zealand government has requested to clean their hull from Biofouling. It is surprising that the cruise line has been caught out in such a manner that it requires such drastic changes to the itinerary.

New Zealand’s Strict Biosecurity Arrangements

New Zealand’s biosecurity measures for ships’ hull biofouling are among the strictest in the world. To comply with these regulations, P&O Cruises Australia had to inspect the Pacific Adventure‘s hull 30 days before entering New Zealand and obtain clearance from the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries.

The recent inspection results revealed the need for hull cleaning, which was a surprise to P&O Cruises Australia as the hull had been cleared in a previous inspection a few months prior.

“We undertook the required underwater dive inspection on Pacific Adventure and have recently been advised that the results of that inspection require the ship’s hull to be cleaned. This is an unexpected result as the ship’s hull was previously inspected a few months ago and was clean at that time,” a statement from P&O Cruises said. 

The cleaning operation will take place in deep water off the east coast of New Zealand and will be weather-dependent. It means that guests will be forced to spend several days at sea during their cruise, which had been scheduled to visit various ports around New Zealand. 

Pacific Adventure Changes to Itinerary

The revised itinerary for the cruise has several modifications to the original plan. On Friday, February 3, the ship will depart from Sydney as originally planned. However, over the next several days, the cruise ship will spend significant time at sea, and some ports of call are being moved or canceled. 

On February 6, the ship will be at sea, while it was previously scheduled to be in Fjordland National Park, New Zealand. The following two days, February 7 and February 8, will be spent offshore in the Bay of Plenty for hull cleaning instead of visiting Dunedin and Christchurch.

P&O Cruises Australia Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: HDC Creative / Shutterstock

On February 9 and 10, P&O Cruises swapped the visits to Napier and Wellington. There will be two days at sea, followed by a stop in Port Chalmers, New Zealand, on February 12 instead of Auckland.

February 13, Pacific Adventure will do some scenic cruising in Fiordland, which was previously planned to be a day in the Bay of Islands. Finally, the ship will return to Sydney on February 16.

P&O Cruises Australia understands that the changes to the itinerary are not what guests were expecting and have offered a $300 per person onboard credit and a Future Cruise Credit to the value of 25% of the current cruise fare paid. Guests who cancel the trip will receive a Future Cruise Credit for 100% of the cruise fare paid.

Several cruise ships, including Queen Elizabeth, Coral Princess, Viking Orion, and Regent Seven Seas Explorer, have been banned from entering New Zealand due to stringent regulations aimed at preserving the nation’s fragile marine ecosystems. 

The Carnival Splendor faces a similar fate as its hull must be cleaned before its 10-day voyage to four New Zealand ports on February 13, 2023. If the cleaning does not meet the country’s standards, that voyage may be altered or canceled.

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