Carrying ~450 passengers, Seabourn Odyssey’s last visit to Timaru was on December 15th, 2022. It was the first of a record-breaking 12 cruise ship calls scheduled in 2023.
According to Timaru Port’s schedule, following Seabourn Odyssey, the larger Seven Seas Explorer was expected to make an unscheduled call on Thursday. The ship will be sailing in from Lyttelton/Christchurch NZ and is due to dock in Timaru at 5:30 am and leave for Port Chalmers at 6 pm. Seven Seas Explorer was one of 3 ships that failed to comply with NZ's biofouling standards earlier in January 2023 and was not allowed to enter New Zealand.
Biosecurity New Zealand environmental health manager Paul Hallett had earlier revealed the ship had "higher than allowed levels of algae, barnacles, tube worms, and potential oysters present."
This would be the second unscheduled cruise stop in Timaru for this season, with the first being Azamara Quest. Sailing under the flag of Malta, Azamara Quest, carrying 800+ passengers and crew members, docked in PrimePort Timaru on January 12th and spent the day there before moving upnorth to Lyttelton.
The ship had "barnacles, tubeworms, algae, and hydroids," Hallett said.
The website of the Ministry for Primary Industry describes biofouling as “marine pests and diseases introduced to New Zealand on vessel hulls (biofouling) are a threat to our marine environment and resources”.