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Passengers booked on Sea Princess’ cruise out of Brisbane this month are to be flown to Sydney to join the ship from there instead.

The move ends days of speculation about the fate of the cruise – and will come as a welcome relief to families based in Brisbane and booked on the vessel.

The troubled Sea Princess – hit by “technical problems” and currently in dry dock at Garden Island, Sydney – was due to leave Brisbane on September 29 on a 14-day New Zealand cruise.

The move allows additional time to fix the problems, but will mean the ship’s call at Auckland is cancelled.

A company statement issued this morning to Cruise Passenger aboard Carnival Spirit said: “Work has been progressing at the Garden Island drydock in Sydney in recent days to make necessary repairs to Sea Princess.

“During the course of the current drydock, we found that the repair will require more time than originally thought.

“As a result, instead of departing from Brisbane, Sea Princess will now depart from Sydney on September 30 – a day later than scheduled. We are securing at our expense air travel from Brisbane to Sydney for Brisbane-based guests.

“We have done everything we can to preserve the original itinerary with six of the original seven destinations retained  – but we deeply regret that the planned call to Auckland on 3 October has been cancelled.”

Passengers involved will receive a one-day per diem refund of the cruise fare paid in the form of an onboard credit, an onboard credit of $100 plus refund of the taxes, fees, and port expenses for the cancelled Auckland call; and a 30 percent Future Cruise Credit that can be applied to any future Princess cruise booked by the end of 2015.

News of the problems aboard Sea Princess had Cruise Passenger’s readers on our Facebook page pleading for updates on progress of the repairs.

Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz said: “Our technical teams are hard at work and I am pleased to say that they have secured all the spare parts needed and are working 24/7 shifts to fix the ship.

“Our number one priority is preserving our guests holidays. So we’ll be leaving from Sydney at Tuesday and guests will be flown from Brisbane.”

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