Broken-down cruise ship Norwegian Star had earlier fault

The ship's propulsion system stopped working about 30 kilometres off Wilson's Promontory.

The ship's propulsion system stopped working about 30 kilometres off Wilson's Promontory. Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line

A luxury cruise ship broken down off Victoria’s coast with more than 3,000 passengers and crew on board also experienced a problem with its propulsion system a fortnight ago, the company has revealed.

The 91,000 tonne Norwegian Star was towed into Port Phillip Bay after it became stranded and docked in Melbourne just after 11pm on Saturday.

Norwegian Cruise Line confirmed the ship’s propulsion system stopped working in the early hours of Friday, about 30 kilometres off Wilson’s Promontory.

The ship was en route to Tasmania and due to dock in Burnie after leaving Melbourne when the fault occurred.

The vessel, which left Sydney on Monday, still has power and “all on-board services are fully operational”.

It is unclear whether the stop at Burnie will have to be scrapped to make it to Auckland by February 18, as originally planned.

In late January, the ship experienced a problem with its propulsion system near Indonesia and several stops had to be scrapped to make it to Sydney on schedule.

A technical issue “unrelated to the propulsion system” occurred in December.

A previous letter signed by the Norwegian Star’s Master Mattias Andersson described last month’s problem as “unforeseen”.

“We apologise for the change in schedule and thank you for your patience during this necessary itinerary change in order to make these required repairs,” he said.

Passengers to get full refund

A spokeswoman for the company, Anne Wild, described the latest fault as “very usual” and said passengers would be financially compensated.

“All guests onboard were provided a full refund, as well as a 50 per cent future cruise credit,” she said.

“In the event any guest wishes to disembark once the ship returns to port, Norwegian will provide them with a credit of up to $350 per person for a flight to Auckland and provide up to $300 per ticket for a change fee allowance if a guest wishes to fly home immediately.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said a representative from Melbourne’s port would board the ship when it reached the Port Phillip Bay heads, which was expected to happen Saturday afternoon.


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