High Winds, Stormy Seas Disrupt Regent Cruise Ship Voyage

February 2, 2012

(9:30 a.m. EST) -- A massive storm in the Tasman Sea, situated between eastern Australia and New Zealand, has disrupted a 15-night Sydney-to-Auckland cruise on the 46,000-ton, 700-passenger Regent Seven Seas Voyager. Winds in excess of 100 knots and 36-foot waves forced the ship slightly off course and caused minor damage onboard, including a small electrical fire.

Cruise Critic member Commodoredave, who is on the ship, reported on the message boards Tuesday night: "The divider between our two balconies has just blown off one side of its hinges and is banging back and forth -- it may not stay with the ship much longer. The balcony chairs look like they are about to go over the edge." Glass shelves in the gift shop were also smashed, according to member reports.

Around 4 a.m. the following morning, a fire broke out on deck after deck furniture that had been strapped down worked its way loose and crashed into some electrical fittings, causing them to ignite. Regent Seven Seas Cruises told Cruise Critic in a statement: "The fire, which damaged plastic pool furniture, was immediately extinguished with no damage to passengers, crew or ship systems. The ship is fully operational."

One day of scenic cruising was missed (in Doubtful Sound, part of New Zealand's Fjordlands), but the ship is now continuing with its original itinerary. The weather has greatly improved as well.

--by Jamey Bergman, Cruise Critic U.K.