Azamara Journey cruise ship arriving in Auckland during COVID-19 lockdown is 'no risk to the public'

Azamara Journey cruise ship arriving in Auckland during COVID-19 lockdown is 'no risk to the public'.
The Azamara Journey is described by its owners as a "luxurious boutique hotel at sea". Photo credit: supplied

Aucklanders are being reminded they have no need to worry about a cruise ship seen coming into port on the first day of the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown.

The Azamara Journey is not letting any passengers or crew into the country and is merely picking up supplies.

Members of the public have contacted Newshub concerned about the ship, but it is not breaking any rules. 

When the Government's coronavirus protection measures - including a ban on cruise ships - were introduced, those vessels in New Zealand waters were allowed to unload people to let them get home after each had undergone a 14 day self-isolation period.

The ships then stayed anchored around Aotearoa with skeleton crews since, but are in the process of returning home.

"The cruise ship Azamara Journey came into port around 1:30pm today. It was in port last week dropping off passengers so they could go home," says Matt Ball, spokesperson for Ports of Auckland.

"It has been in the Hauraki Gulf and has come in today to collect supplies. It will be alongside until March 31, when it will leave again. There is only a skeleton crew onboard and they are not permitted ashore now that we are in Level 4 lockdown.

"There is no risk to the public from this ship."

The Azamara Journey's docking to get supplies for its skeleton crew before they return home comes after other cruise ships allegedly faced abuse and hurled bottles by angry members of the public last week.

Although it will leave Auckland next week, people may see other cruise ships which also pose no threat to them on land. 

"There is one other ship in port, the Bremen which has been at Queens Wharf for several days. Crew are confined aboard," says Ball.

"A third ship, Le Laparouse, was at Queens Wharf; but is now at anchor in the Hauraki Gulf. It will come in for supplies in early April."

While these cruise ships are abiding by the rules, people going out on small fishing boats are not.

During the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, boaties going out risk needing to call for help - which would put them in contact with people and hence endanger them.

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