Norwegian Cruise Lines return to the Australia cruise market has taken a detour with Norwegian Star losing propulsion and having to be towed into port in Melbourne.
The ship was on a 12-night cruise from Sydney to Auckland, NZ, with stops at Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Napier and Tauranga and the fjords of Mitford Sound. Last Thursday, the ship, which has had propulsion problems several times before, lost all power, and had to be towed to Melbourne for an expected several days of repairs.
The ship is powered by 'azipods,' which are self-contained electric devices that replace both rudder and drive shaft. One is mounted on each side of the ship. On the ship's previous cruise, one broke down, causing slow speeds. After repair, the current cruise began, but this time both azipods failed.
The propulsion failures don't affect shipboard services or facilities. When repairs are completed, the ship will proceed directly to Auckland. Passengers are being offered a variety of refunds and credits, whether they continue to Auckland, or sign off in Melbourne.