An incoming storm forced the cancellation of Seabourn Odyssey’s visit to Taranaki (New Zealand) on Thursday, November 24.
In an emailed statement, the Chief executive of Port Taranaki Simon Craddock said that a low-pressure system was expected to produce wind & swell conditions that would make it impossible for vessels to remain safely in the harbour. As a result, the decision had been made for Seabourn Odyssey to bypass Taranaki on that occasion, he said.
The MetService forecast for New Plymouth NZ (North Island, Taranaki region) on Thursday is for showers, with possible thunderstorms/hail/strong westerlies. Also expected are waves of up to 3.6 m.
The 198 m-long cruise ship Seabourn Odyssey carries a total of 450 passengers and was expected to be the first cruise ship to visit Taranaki NZ since Azamara Journey in February 2020.
The ship was due to arrive at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, with buses to take cruisers into New Plymouth for the day prior to departing at 6:00 p.m.
Craddock said that unfortunately, it was one of those things that were out of their control. Safety was their main concern - "the safety of the vessel and her passengers and crew."
“We were really looking forward to this visit, so it’s very disappointing for all involved – the port, tour operators, the retail and hospitality businesses in Taranaki, our organisational partners and, no doubt, the passengers, who would have been looking forward to discovering our great region.”
Because of its west coast location, Port Taranaki is exposed to long-period wave events and strong winds.
In order to manage this, the port deploys additional ship lines and a dynamic mooring system - ShoreTension. However, during serious events, it is necessary to send ships out of the port.
The present forecast showed an LPW climate in the harbour that exceeded their ability to manage through the use of ShoreTension.
Seabourn Odyssey is scheduled to make another call at Taranaki in early March 2023.