Ship's visit cancelled due to rough seas

The dawn arrived yesterday but not the Dawn Princess.

The Dunedin visit by the cruise ship, with 2000 passengers and 900 crew on board, was cancelled after the vessel encountered rough seas across the Tasman.

Dunedin City Council Visitor Centre team leader Louise Van De Vlierd said she had been advised on Saturday the Princess Cruises vessel would not be arriving.

The early notice was welcomed by those in the tourism industry, she said.

It was the second weather-related incident to hit the Dawn Princess while en route to New Zealand.

The ship arrived five hours later than scheduled on Christmas Day after poor weather hampered its departure from Sydney.

A spokesman for Dawn Princess said there was no other choice than "to abort her call at Port Chalmers in the interests of the safety and security of passengers and crew, and of the ship".

"We are always disappointed to cancel a port, but there are occasions such as this one when it is unavoidable due to prevailing weather conditions."

The vessel, which is due to return to Dunedin next Tuesday, had to cut short its visit to Milford Sound, with its next port of call at Picton.

Last Wednesday, the Pacific Jewel, carrying 2000 passengers, was forced to bypass Port Chalmers because of strong winds at the entrance to Otago Harbour.

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