The Sun Princess was this morning searching for one of its passengers, believed lost overboard during a cruise from New Zealand.

A man aged 84 was reported missing on Monday night. An air search has also been launched.

The Sun Princess will be delayed into Sydney, meaning passengers will be forced to wait to board for her next journey.

Princess Cruises released a statement saying: “Princess Cruises confirms that an 84-year-old male passenger was reported missing early today on-board Sun Princess, which was on the way to Sydney completing a 13-day New Zealand cruise.

“A thorough search of Sun Princess was conducted but the passenger could not be located.

“The Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Canberra was contacted and Sun Princess turned around and retraced its path off the coast of New South Wales. Sun Princess was scheduled to arrive in Sydney this morning. She will continue its search efforts until released by the RCC.

Sun Princess’ arrival in Sydney will be delayed and the next cruise will be impacted. We are contacting guests to advise them of this change.”

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority sent a plane 175 nautical miles off the coast of Sydney to search for the man, who was reported missing shortly after 9pm on Monday night.

AMSA spokesman Mal Larson told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph it was believed he went overboard in rough conditions and 2-3m swells.

“Given his age and the conditions we think the chances of survivability are low,” he said.

The Sun Princess, with 1900 passengers on board, has doubled back on its original course in a bid to help find the man.