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Hundreds of passengers have had their holidays cut short after engine problems plagued  the Norwegian Star.

The liner’s arrival in Australian waters was supposed to announce the return of Norwegian Cruise Lines, with a new local office and sales staff.

Last week passengers were told they had to disembark the ship in Darwin and guests missed five of the 10 stops on their four-week cruise.

The Norwegian Star is currently on a 33-day trip which calls at destinations in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

But the propulsion related issue forced the cruise line to change its itinerary to ensure the ship arrived in Sydney on February 6.

The cruise line cancelled calls at Komodo Island, Airlie Beach and Brisbane and after offloading passengers in Darwin, will spend an additional three days at sea. And it will forego stops at Burnie, Milford Sound and Napier and adding a second day in Melbourne and two more sea days.

Passengers  will receive some compensation in onboard credit as well as discounts off their future cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. But today, it was unclear how much as reports claimed the line has reduced its compensation by up to half in some cases.

According to a statement, Norwegian Cruise Lines said: “The ship’s system experienced a technical malfunction on January 24, which resulted in the ship’s speed being restricted from full capacity. This is a very unusual situation and unrelated to the issue the ship experienced.

“Norwegian Cruise Line sincerely apologizes for this unexpected but necessary change in itinerary for our guests onboard this and the following cruises. We understand that our guests were looking forward to the original itinerary, and it is always our intention to sail that whenever possible.

“All guest activities, amenities and services onboard the ship are functioning normally. While the speed of the vessel has been affected, there has been no interruption to any guest services and there are no safety concerns. Safety and security is, and will always remain, our number one priority.”

Canadian tourists Lynne and Adrian Scott told the NT News they were disappointed by the mechanical failures because the same issues happened on the Norwegian Joy last year. The couple spent $15,000 on their cruise but they were still excited with what Darwin had to offer.

Were you on board?  Tell us your story.