Passengers Stuck on Cruise Ship Due to 'Biofoul'

Ship was not allowed to dock after fungus found on hull
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2023 2:00 AM CST
Updated Jan 7, 2023 4:10 PM CST
800 Cruise Passengers Stranded Due to 'Biofoul'
A different Viking cruise ship is seen from Finland, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020.   (Niclas Norlund/Lehtikuva via AP)

"Biofoul" found growing on the hull of a cruise ship left more than 800 passengers stuck aboard the ship for nearly a week of the holiday season. The Viking Orion has not been allowed to dock in Australia after a marine growth was discovered on the ship's hull and the country's fisheries department determined it was a "potentially harmful" fungus. As the BBC explains, biofoul is "an accumulation of microorganisms, plants, algae, or small animal," and the concern is that it can introduce invasive species to new habitats and interfere with the native species there.

The ship, which was denied permission to dock at Christchurch, Dunedin, Hobart, and Adelaide, is expected to dock in Melbourne on Monday and then carry on with its itinerary. It has been at sea since it left New Zealand on Dec. 26, the Guardian reports. Australia's fisheries department says fungus management is "common practice for all arriving international vessels," and that Viking employed professional divers to clean the hull while the ship floated 17 miles off the coast.

Passengers reported on social media that many aboard the ship were upset the cruise line hadn't dealt with the fungus earlier; as a result, the cruise missed "several stops," Viking said in a statement. (Passengers reported the issue meant they missed out on half of the cruise's eight planned stops.) The cruise line called the biofoul a "limited amount of standard marine growth." The ship's captain apologized, and assured passengers that an "adjusted offer of compensation" would soon be made to all passengers. (Read more cruise lines stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.