(Update, Oct. 14, 12 p.m. EDT) -- Princess spokeswoman Karen Candy has confirmed that all passengers returned safely to Sea Princess, and the ship departed as of 5:15 p.m. local time. Due to the circumstances, the ship will scrap planned calls on Dunedin and Fjordland. Sea Princess is currently en route to Sydney, where it will conclude its voyage on schedule. When we asked why the ship called at Akaroa when Princess knew a storm was coming we received the following response:
"Weather was considered suitable for tendering but when it deteriorated sooner than expected the decision was made in the interest of passenger safety not to conduct tendering back to the ship."
(1:30 p.m. EDT) -- About 700 Sea Princess passengers are overnighting ashore in New Zealand tonight after rough seas made it too dangerous for them to return to their ship.
According to Voxy.co.nz, a New Zealand publication, the passengers disembarked for a day in the port of Akaroa before stormy weather hit. They are scheduled to be back onboard tomorrow morning, weather permitting.
A similar story by New Zealand-based Stuff.co.nz states that passengers were given food and drinks at a local school hall before being transferred to land-based accommodations.
We have reached out to Princess Cruises for confirmation and will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
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