There are currently two cruise vessels in the port of Melbourne. The two vessels are the GOLDEN PRINCESS and the VIKING ORION. Both vessels have disembarked their passengers and are in lay-up awaiting orders from their Owners.
The term lay-up is a commonly used term in the maritime industry and is means that the vessel is temporarily idle due to lack of cargo/passengers and is not undertaking commercial operations. Vessels in lay-up or laid up are normally manned, that is the crew is on-board and performing normal operations and maintenance tasks. This is the case with these two vessels.
Both vessels have sufficient crew on-board to:
• maintain safe watch keeping either alongside or at anchor,
• respond to any emergency situations,
• comply with the VPCM Harbour Master’s Directions, and
• comply with the international maritime codes of practice (ISM and ISPS).
When the vessels move from anchor to alongside Station Pier and vice-versa there is a Marine Pilot embarked. Depending on the berth the vessels may also use tugs to assist their manoeuvring in accordance with the Harbour Master’s Directions and any applicable Operating Instructions.
Currently the GOLDEN PRINCESS is alongside Station pier and is berthed on the Outer West Berth. The VIKING ORION is currently alongside Station Pier on the Outer East Berth. She will proceed to anchor in the Inner Anchorage at 18:00hr today, Thursday 25 March 2020.Whilst the vessels are alongside Station Pier a Landside Restricted Zone (LRZ) is in place. Whilst an LRZ is in place Station Pier is closed to public access.
VPCM does not have any indication from the Owners or their Agents when the vessels will depart the port of Melbourne.
The operations of both vessels are monitored by the Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE). DAWE are responsible for biosecurity and together with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are ensuring that the vessels comply with the applicable Commonwealth and Victorian Government legislation and regulations.
In particular VPCM is complying with the following Australian and Victorian Government directions:
Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential) (Emergency Requirements) Determination 2020 dated 18 March 2020 issued by the authority of the Minister for Health.
Visit APH website for COVID-19 Biosecurity emergency declaration
Cruise Ship Docking Direction from the Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Diseases) in accordance with the emergency powers arising from declared state of emergency. Cruise Ship Docking. Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) Section 200.
Visit DHHS website for state of emergency cruise ships docking directions
During this time both vessels are taking on stores and provisions as needed.