Port Timaru (New Zealand) to host another unexpected cruise ship due to NZ's biofouling laws

   January 16, 2023 ,   Accidents

The second visit of Seabourn' ship Seabourn Odyssey to Timaru (New Zealand) on Monday, January 16th, could be followed by a larger cruise ship call on Thursday, January 20th.

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.

The vessel, sailing from Port Chalmers (Dunedin NZ), docked in PrimePort Timaru at ~7:30 am on Monday and was due to leave for Kaikoura NZ at 5:30 pm.

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.

According to Hallett, Azamara Quest had been instructed to have its hull cleaned before visiting special marine areas like Bay of Islands, Akaroa, and Fiordland NP.

The ship had "barnacles, tubeworms, algae, and hydroids," Hallett said.

Port of Timaru (New Zealand)

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”.