Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Vasco da Gama stood off Kangaroo Island overnight in case it was needed to help in any evacuation.

The vessel, on a four-night South Australian Icons cruise with 1,267 passengers on board, called off its visit to the fire-ravaged island, but offered to help in any way.

Two people died as firefighters battled blazes on the tourist haven.

The Country Fire Service advised that Vasco da Gama was not required, as they had put SeaLink Ferries on standby.

The Vasco da Gama continued her voyage to Port Lincoln.

Dean Brazier, Managing Director of Cruise & Maritime Voyages Australia, said this morning an operations team had liaised with the local port agent, South Australian Tourism Commission, and the Country Fire Service overnight.

“The escalating, uncontrolled bushfires burning on Kangaroo Island means our scheduled anchorage call to Penneshaw has understandably been cancelled.

“We have, however, offered to provide evacuation assistance if required for the locals and tourists who remain on the Island. As a result, the ship has proceeded to Penneshaw and is anchored a safe distance from the coast to be on standby this morning to assist with a possible evacuation plan to the mainland.

“The Captain has made an announcement to passengers. Dining and entertainment on board will still be available and we imagine our guests will be in support of assisting the bushfire effort and those on Kangaroo Island.

“We would like to thank them for their patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. The safety of our guests and crew will still be at the forefront of any operational decision made today.”

He added:“Our thoughts and prayers are with all those directly affected by this ongoing disaster.” said Dean Brazier, Managing Director of CMV Australia.

Since December, passengers alongside Cruise & Maritime Voyages have contributed more than $10,000 to the Australian Red Cross to support Bushfire Relief.