Royal Caribbean cruise ship Radiance of the Seas will be a reluctrant star in the port of Newcastle this week as engineers repair her propulsion system.
The vessel was due to leave at the end of her Sydney season when problems were detected and cruises cancelled for urgent work, with its 800 crew able to see the sites of the Hunter Valley.
Royal Caribbean has confirmed specialist technicians will fly out from Finland to undertake repairs on the 293-metre-long ship’s propulsion system. The work will only end on April 17.
The Azipod propulsion unitorboke down on Tuesday, slowing the vessel but leaving safety and other services working.
An 11-night trip to New Zealand originall was cancelled on Tuesday and passengers received a full refund and future cruise credits.
Newcastle was chosen due to its proximity to Sydney, the ship’s last stop, and the availability of a berth.
The ship will remain in the water during the Newcastle stay, believed to be the first time a major cruise ship has undergone lengthy repairs in the harbour.
A statement said: “Royal Caribbean International regrettably announced that it will be necessary to cancel the upcoming 11-night cruise on Radiance of the Seas departing 6 April 2018. This is to conduct necessary repairs on the ship’s Azipod propulsion system, which impacts the ships’ speed and ability to deliver future scheduled cruises.
“The ship’s guest services are currently fully operational, and there is no impact on the maneuverability of the ship or on the safety of our guests and crew as it returns to Sydney from its current Queensland coastal cruise.
“After exploring numerous repair options and to ensure readiness for future cruises, repairs will take place from 6 April to 17 April.
“We are currently in the process of informing all impacted guests and their travel agents. All guests will be provided with a full refund as well as a 100 per cent Future Cruise Credit.
“We sincerely regret that we will be unable to deliver the Royal Caribbean cruise holiday that our guests were looking forward to. Our guest’s holiday time is very precious and we can assure you that we did not make this decision lightly.”
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