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Broken-down cruise ship adrift off Melbourne reports it's in 'no danger'

A broken-down cruise ship, adrift off Melbourne with thousands of passengers on board, will arrive back in port on Saturday afternoon.

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Star lost power off Cape Liptrap, south-east Victoria, early on Friday morning and is now stuck at sea with its main engines off-line.

Passengers have spoken of tearful scenes onboard the vessel, however, its operator says there is no danger to the ship or its passengers.

Aerial pictures show passengers appearing to make the best of the situation around one of the ship's pools. Photo: 7 News
Aerial pictures show passengers appearing to make the best of the situation around one of the ship's pools. Photo: 7 News

The Norwegian Star was en route from Melbourne to New Zealand after departing Sydney on February 6.

"All guest amenities remain open and available and the weather conditions are favourable,” a spokesperson said.


"The ship is in no danger whatsoever and the comfort and safety of our guests and crew are unaffected by this situation.

"Norwegian Cruise Line sincerely extends its deepest apologies to guests for the inconveniences that they have encountered.

The statement said customers would also be welcome to stay aboard the Star, explore Melbourne and depart for Auckland when an updated itinerary and repairs had been completed.

"However, if a guest wishes to disembark once the ship returns to port, Norwegian will provide them with a credit of up to $350 per person for a flight to Auckland and provide up to $300 per ticket for a change fee allowance if a guest wishes to fly home immediately," the Norwegian Cruise Lines spokesperson said.

"We expect the itinerary that commences in Auckland on February 18 to operate as originally scheduled.

"Norwegian Cruise Line sincerely extends our deepest apologies to our guests for the inconveniences that they have encountered. All guests onboard were provided a full refund, as well as a 50 per cent future cruise credit."

A spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said it was aware of the situation.

The ship’s diesel generators were still working on Friday, meaning it could supply power for passengers’ needs and bow thrusters.

The Authority said this meant the ship’s master still had some ability to move the vessel but would not be able to return it to port without help.

Tug boats will be dispatched to the area, about 70kms from Melbourne and about 20 kilometres from Inveloch, to pull the Star back to Port Melbourne.