MD Australia Dean Brazier said the company’s operations team liaised with the local port agent, South Australian Tourism Commission and the Country Fire Service Friday night.
‘The escalating, uncontrolled bushfires burning on Kangaroo Island means our scheduled call at Penneshaw has understandably been cancelled,’ Brazier said.
Evacuation assistance offered
‘We have, however, offered to provide evacuation assistance if required for the locals and tourists who remain on the island. As a result, the ship has proceeded to Penneshaw and is anchored a safe distance from the coast to be on standby to assist with a possible evacuation plan to the mainland.
‘Should conditions improve and our services are not required, Vasco da Gama will continue her voyage to arrive in Port Lincoln on Sunday as scheduled.’
Brazier said the captain made an announcement about the situation to the passengers on Saturday morning.
‘We imagine our guests will be in support of assisting the bushfire effort,’ he said. ‘We would like to thank them for their patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.’
Smoke crosses the Tasman
Debbie Summers, chairman of the New Zealand Cruise Association, told Seatrade Cruise News smoke has crossed the Tasman and can be seen from her home in Auckland.
RAN to the rescue
In Australia’s unprecedented and unimaginable bushfire crisis, the Royal Australian Navy has been called in to evacuate people stranded in coastal areas.