Update: Pacific Sun In Port, More Reports Come In

August 3, 2008
Update: August 3, 9:25 a.m. GMT: Passengers onboard Pacific Sun faced further delays today. According to the Ports of Auckland shipping schedule, Pacific Sun had been due to leave at 9 p.m. local time. It has also been reported that around 60 passengers cancelled their trip. Update: August 2, 10 a.m. GMT: New Zealand's 3News has reported that Pacific Sun has been cleared to depart from Auckland. The ship is now expected to leave Sunday morning (local time).

(August 1) -- P&O Cruises Australia's storm-hit Pacific Sun arrived back in Auckland this morning and reports have come in from passengers describing their nightmare.

The ship, which had been on an eight-day cruise, was hit by 7-metre swells (around 23 feet) and 50-knot winds on Wednesday -- this resulted in more than 40 people requiring medical attention.

One passenger told New Zealand's Taranaki Daily News that "it was like being in a disaster movie".

The newspaper also reported that there were screams and people crying when the storm hit at around 7 p.m. local time.

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald reported that Carnival Australia, which operates the vessel, quashed rumours that one person had lost a foot and others had lost fingers. A spokesman told the paper that the worst injury was a fractured pelvis.

P&O Cruises made the following arrangements for the arrival of the 47,262-ton, 1,486 passenger Pacific Sun: A specialised team on the ground to support passengers and their families and friends.

Counselling is being offered to passengers and crew shaken by their experience.

Onward travel arrangements including taxis, coaches and flights have been covered by P&O.

A hotel was booked to allow families and friends to wait for passengers.

The three passengers that had remained under medical supervision following the severe weather event were medically disembarked at the port.

The next cruise, which was due to depart last night, is now due to leave on Saturday evening on an 8-night New Caledonian cruise. There has been no word yet on what compensation customers will be offered.

We'll keep you posted. -- by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor