Cruise ship heading for NZ adrift off Melbourne coast

The Norwegian Star is adrift in the Tasman about 50km from Melbourne with more than 2000 people aboard.

Norwegian Cruise Line, the company that operates the cruise, confirmed there was no danger to guests and crew.

The 2,240-passenger ship is waiting to be towed to Melbourne.

The ship, which was on a voyage from Melbourne to New Zealand, will now miss several ports of call, according to Cruise Critic.

Additional details on the ship's itinerary for this current cruise that departed on February 6 from Sydney will be available once the ship arrives alongside and a technical team has assessed the fix timeline.

NCL expects the cruise that commences in Auckland on February 18 to operate as originally scheduled.

Don Smith said his wife flew earlier in the week from San Francisco to Sydney for the cruise.

A passenger onboard the ship told The Age some people were crying.

"It's a bloody nightmare", he said.

"We're stuck in the middle of the ocean".

Steve T Raney posted on Facebook saying: "WE have NO engines for propulsion!" We are afloat in the ocean!'

Norwegian Star has broken down off the coast of Australia after suffering a failure of its propulsion system for a second time. Norwegian Cruise Line said on-board services are fully functional, and weather conditions are favorable. All guest amenities remain open and available. All of the appropriate authorities have been notified and the ship is now being towed to shore in order to complete all necessary repairs. Passengers will receive a full refund and future cruise discount.

A spokeman for The Australia Maritime Safety Authority, which is monitoring the ship, told The Age it is only the engines that are affected.

  • Salvatore Jensen