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Anger as passengers on Aussie cruise denied entry at New Zealand border

An unwanted creature discovered on board the ship meant Kiwi authorities shunned the vessel.

Thousands of cruise passengers have been left frustrated and a bit perplexed after the cruise ship they were travelling on was turned away at the border of New Zealand, forcing it to be diverted to Tasmania.

P&O Cruises Australia, the operator of the Pacific Adventure ship, confirmed passengers on board the 13-day 'Kiwi Adventure' voyage will now no longer be visiting New Zealand.

The ship left Sydney on Monday but passengers learned on Friday they wouldn't be making their intended destination after an unwanted species was found on the ship and bad weather meant a required cleaning of the vessel's hull could not be carried out.

A spokesperson for P&O Cruises Australia confirmed to Yahoo News Australia on Saturday morning the unwanted species had been discovered "just before we were due to set sail". The cruise company planned to have the hull of the ship cleaned and the species removed offshore near the Bay of Plenty, along New Zealand's northern coast. However due to inclement weather, "it was just too dangerous," the spokesperson said, forcing a sudden change in the passengers' itinerary.

Passengers have been left to enjoy a Tasmanian trip after being turned away from New Zealand. Source: Nine News
Passengers have been left to enjoy a Tasmanian trip after being turned away from New Zealand. Source: Nine News

Yahoo understands the unwanted species was a type of mussels or oyster growth. "In Australia they're fine, but New Zealand doesn't like them," the spokesperson said.

Like Australia, New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws and underwater cleaning opportunities in the region are extremely limited.

In a statement provided to passengers on board, and later shared on social media, a company director said; "unfortunately the weather has not aligned with the predicted forecast and conditions dramatically changed upon the divers entering the water [to clean the ship]."

The change means passengers will be forced to spend more time on the boat without disembarking and will now travel to Hobart, Port Arthur and Eden instead. However some have expressed anger and a desire to simply return back to Sydney, Nine News reported.

"Get me off," one person reportedly complained on social media. "Honestly I just want to go back home," another wrote. Meanwhile one person described the situation as "a turd covered in gold glitter".

P&O cruise ship
Pacific Adventure only sails in Australia, NZ and the Pacific. Source: P&O Cruises

Passengers were given a $300 on-board credit and a 50 per cent credit for a future trip but P&O Cruises later provided a further update on Sunday saying a more generous compensation offer had been provided after feedback from affected customers.

P&O Cruises Australia, like all cruise companies, alerts customers in its terms and conditions that changes to the itinerary can sometimes be made during the voyage.

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