Coronavirus: Kiwi terminal cancer patient may be trapped on cruise ship for weeks

A Kiwi family trapped on a cruise ship off the coast of Hawaii has made a desperate plea for their mother to come home.

She has terminal cancer and is facing weeks stuck at sea as countries close their borders to cruise ships.

Zane and Dana Gardiner, with their mother Raewyn Schultz, set sail on the Norwegian Jewel off Honolulu just a couple of weeks ago.

But now, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, they're trapped - a big problem, since Raewyn has terminal lung liver cancer and desperately needs to get off.

"If we can't get her off, then my mum is going to die on this boat," Zane said.

The Norwegian Jewel has been unable to dock for many days. There are 15 Kiwis on board, among up to 1700 passengers.

It was turned away in Auckland after our ban, then in Fiji, then American Samoa, and is now trying Hawaii.

Zane and Dana Gardiner are worried for mum Raewyn Schulz.
Zane and Dana Gardiner are worried for mum Raewyn Schulz. Photo credit: Supplied

Dana is worried they could be trapped for weeks longer. She recently messaged her father Neil Gardiner on Facebook, telling him of their plight.

"Oh Dad. I really hope New Zealand can get us off at Honolulu. The word on the boat is if we aren’t allowed in, it could be weeks before we get off," she wrote.

"I can't sleep, I’m so worried. I want to be home. I really hope something can be done. I want to come home. I love you."

Her father, back home in New Zealand, is trying her best to comfort her.

"Love you too my baby. Try not to worry. We are trying to get all you guys home ASAP," he wrote back.

But it's not looking good. Cruise ship passengers are unlikely to get off, with protesters urging them to stay home.

High-profile American politician Tulsi Gabbard is leading the charge.

"Cruise ships should not be allowed to dock in Hawaii or any other state. These cruise ships are basically floating incubators for this disease," she said.

It is a massive problem globally. 'Coronavirus chaos' has trapped cruise ships all around the world with border closures.

The Cruise Lines International Association says up to 90,000 passengers are stuck at sea.

MFAT is in contact with a number of New Zealanders currently on cruise ships.

 A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism (MFAT) said the Government "is exploring all possible options to help New Zealand travellers overseas, including the feasibility of assisted departures".

However it warns that there are no guarantees that this will be possible.

MFAT says it is in constant contact with consular counterparts from other countries to share information, and when possible to work together on solutions to help out Kiwis overseas.