The 2,240-passenger Norwegian Star has encountered propulsion problems during a 33-night cruise from Hong Kong to South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The ship’s starboard azipod developed problems and has forced the ship to change its itinerary in order to maintain its schedule and reach Sydney on 06 February 2017, where the 33-night cruise ends.
In December 2016, Norwegian Star encountered problems with her starboard azipod, which also lead to itinerary changes.
Visits to Komodo Island, Airlie Beach and Brisbane have been cancelled but the ship will visit Darwin instead but will also spend an additional 3 days at sea, during the 33-night cruise.
The cruise departing Sydney will also have changes to its itinerary. Norwegian Star will no longer visit Burnie, Milford Sound and Napier but an additional second day will be added to her visit to Melbourne and the ship will spend a further two days at sea.
Further itinerary changes are expected to subsequent cruises. Norwegian Cruise Line will contact those passengers whose cruises will be affected.
Norwegian Cruise Line released a statement: “The ship’s system experienced a technical malfunction on January 24, which resulted in the ship’s speed being restricted from full capacity. This is a very unusual situation and unrelated to the issue the ship experienced in December. Norwegian Cruise Line sincerely apologizes for this unexpected but necessary change in itinerary for our guests on board this and the following cruises. We understand that our guests were looking forward to the original itinerary, and it is always our intention to sail that whenever possible. All guest activities, amenities and services on board the ship are functioning normally. While the speed of the vessel has been affected, there has been no interruption to any guest services and there are no safety concerns. Safety and security is, and will always remain, our number one priority.”
Passengers on board the Norwegian Star have reportedly held protests on board in the atrium to express their dissatisfaction over the situation.
Norwegian Cruise Line has offered compensation to the passengers on board. They will receive $500 per person on board credit where they can spend that on board or to be refunded by mail at the end of the cruise. In addition, they will receive a 50% future cruise credit which can be used within the next three years.
For passengers on the subsequent cruise itineraries, Norwegian Cruise Line is also offering compensation.
Passengers sailing on the 12-night itinerary from Sydney on 6th February will receive a $250 on board credit per person with an additional 25% future cruise credit of their cruise fare which can be used within two years.
Passengers sailing on the 19-night itinerary from Auckland on 18 February will receive $500 per person on board credit with an additional 50% future cruise credit of their cruise fare to be redeemed within two years.
Passengers scheduled to depart 18 February from Auckland on the 6-night segment will receive $150 per person on board credit with an additional 50% future cruise credit of their cruise fare to be used within two years.
Passengers that will be sailing on the 24 February 13-night cruise form Auckland will receive $350 per person on board credit with an additional 50% future cruise credit of their cruise fare to be redeemed within two years.
In addition, the cruise line are sending members of its leadership team in Australia, including Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific Steve Odell, to embark the ship Sunday where a town hall meeting with passengers will be conducted and an opportunity for passengers to air their grievances and to ask questions.
Norwegian Cruise Line have stated they will be in contact with the affected passengers to provide them with the latest information in due course.