Norwegian Star, after suffering earlier azipod problems last month on a 33 night cruise from Hong Kong to Australia and New Zealand, has again suffered problems today on a cruise from Melbourne to New Zealand.
The ship experienced an azipod ‘malfunction’ in the early hours of Friday 10th February (Australian time) which has resulted in loss of propulsion and the ship currently drifting off the coast of Australia.
Power on board the ship has not been affected and whilst the ship still has bow thruster capabilities, the ship doesn’t have any main propulsion available to them and therfore will require tug assistance to tow the ship back to shore for repairs.
In a statement from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), ship’s operators, a spokeswoman apologised to the passengers on board for the problems but confirmed that the ship wasn’t in any danger and that the ship still had power. She said:
“During the early morning hours, Norwegian Star’s azipod propulsion system experienced a technical malfunction and the ship is currently without propulsion approximately 20 miles offshore near Melbourne, Australia. The ship has full power and all onboard services are fully operational. All guest amenities remain open and available and the weather conditions are favorable. The ship is in no danger whatsoever and the comfort and safety of our guests and crew are unaffected by this situation.”
The cruise line also confirmed that passengers will recieve a full refund for their cruise and also a 50% future cruise credit as well.
Current changes to the ship’s itinerary will only become clear once the ship is alongside in Melbourne, which is anticipated will be tomorrow, and has undergone an assessment by a technical team to evaluate a timeline for the repairs required. Passengers will have the chance to explore Melbourne in their stay in the port and once the assessment and repairs have been completed, the ship will continue on her cruise to Auckland on a revised itinerary . NCL anticipate that changes to the itinerary for the cruise departing Auckland on 18th February are unlikely.
In a letter distrubuted to the passengers from Norwegian Cruise Line, the company has reassured passengers that if they would like to disembark in Melbourne and go home, they would assist them with their travel plans by giving them upto $350 per person to fly to Auckland and upto $300 per ticket for charges regarding changes to their flight tickets should they wish to fly home immediately.
Feature Image: Norwegian Cruise Line