The cruise ship Norwegian Star once again suffered mechanical problems and remained adrift in Tasman Sea off the Victorian coast. The vessel was en route from Melbourne to New Zealand and was expected in Port Chalmers on February 13, but off Cape Lintrap, near Wilsons Promontory, broke down and propulsion system failed. The crew was unable to repair the problem and the vessel with more than 2,000 passengers remained adrift. The accident was reported to local authorities and was requested immediate assistance. Toi the scene were sent salvage tugs of Australian Coast Guard and the disabled cruise ship Norwegian Star will be towed to Melbourne for repairs and special inspection.
The operator Norwegian Cruise Lines sent their deepest apologies to passengers and assured that people on board were not at risk. The company offered the passengers cash to help them fly directly to Auckland.
“We hope that you will choose to remain onboard (sic) while the ship is docked and enjoy additional time exploring Melbourne and then continue onto on a revised itinerary once the repairs are complete”, says the official letter of Norwegian Cruise Lines. “But for those fatigued by the delays and hiccups, passengers are being offered “up to 350 USD per person for a flight to Auckland and provide up to 300 USD per ticket for a change fee allowance if you wish to fly home immediately. We will also provide you with internet access and the ability to make a phone call as needed to contact your travel agent or airline to make new travel arrangements, should you wish to do so”, adds the letter of cruise operator.
Australian Maritime and Safety Authority is monitoring the situation and is in contact with the ship’s master.
This is not the first incident with the cruise ship Norwegian Star, which obviously needs dry docking and putting out of service until the propulsion problems are repaired. In December 2016, the vessel skipped several ports in Asia cruise after azipod failure. A month later in end of January, Norwegian Star suffered failure of the same azipod again and changed cruise, skipping three stops of its Asian-Australian cruise.
The cruise ship Norwegian Star (IMO: 9195157) is Dawn-class cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line. The vessel has capacity for 2,348 passenger, deadweight of 7,500 DWT and gross tonnage of 91,740 GRT. The overall length of Norwegian Star is 294.00 m, the moulded beam is 32.20 m and the maximum draft is 8.20 m. The ship was built in 2001 by Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany.