5th cruise ship denied entry to New Zealand due to strict biofouling laws

   January 12, 2023 ,   Accidents

Regatta (Oceania) became the 5th cruise ship to cancel port calls in New Zealand because of strict biosecurity laws.

So far the biofouling laws in the country have forced, Seven Seas Explorer (Regent), Viking Orion (Viking OCEAN), Coral Princess (Priincess), and Queen Elizabeth (Cunard), to cancel NZ ports.

Oceania's spokesperson said that due to local regulations for entering New Zealand's navigable waters, the Regatta ship was required to complete the necessary biofouling remediation, which had resulted in the cancellation of 2 ports on the current voyage. The vessel was currently en route to her next scheduled port call, Cows, Phillip Island (Victoria Australia), where Regatta arrived on January 10th, 2023.

NZ's Cruise Association held talks with Biosecurity New Zealand in order to try to find a solution.

Marine growth can become stuck to the vessel's hull and therefore the country is particularly strict about ensuring ships clear them prior to entering its waters. 

The Coral Princess ship had to have her hull cleaned just before Christmas.

Viking Orion was in the middle of a New Zealand voyage when the boat diverted from Wellington (on Boxing Day) for cleaning in Australia.

Queen Elizabeth had to cancel visits to Fiordland NP departing from Sydney NSW.

Viking Cruises issued a statement saying that Viking Orion had arrived in Melbourne (Australia) on January 2nd and had been received in port. The ship was then back on her scheduled itinerary and sailing towards Sydney NSW, where she arrived on January 4th. 

Oceania Regatta cruise ship

RSSC-Regent's boat Seven Seas Explorer was on a 14-night voyage departing on December 29th, 2022, and disembarking in Auckland NZ on January 12th, 2023. Due to regulations for entering NZ's territorial waters, the boat's hull cleaning was required. The cleaning operation had to be carried out by a company recognized by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries, but none of them were available at ports Seven Seas Explorer had recently visited/would visit prior to the scheduled entry into New Zealand waters.

Regent's technical teams arranged for the clean-up operation to be carried out off Adelaide's coast, and the vessel sailed to South Australia.

An email sent to us by Brian Rosenbloom says:

"You got the story wrong with regent explorer. We never went to any scheduled stops in Australia other than 1 day in Melbourne. Regent tried to rush to New Zealand and avoid cleaning the hull since the ship will not be back in New Zealand waters for nearly a year. That would save the cruise line 6 figures by not cleaning the hull. Ar a result of there major lies and deceitful behavior it ruined our cruise. Please get your facts correct."