The Maritime Herald reports, “French cruise company Ponant has been fined $70,000 in New Zealand after an expedition cruise with 356 passengers aboard breached its navigation permit and ran aground on protected subantarctic waters.”
The boat hit a submerged rock as it steered to close to the Snares Island off the coast of New Zealand.
Not only did the cruise line violate its permit, it put its passengers and crew in harms way. According to the report no passengers were injured and the ship itself did not incur any great damage.
It’s not unusual to find cruise ship and tourist ferries operating outside of the bounds of agreement, accords and restrictions…especially in open waters or around sparsely populated areas where there is little oversight. In this case, the cruise line was likely only ‘caught’ because it resulted in an accident. Had the vessel not hit a rock in the water, no one would have been the wiser.
Here is a list of recent environmental violations by cruise ships posted by CruiseJunkie.com. It outlines water and air pollution in Alaska and other areas.