Ship finally allowed to berth in Australia

Almost 1,800 passengers and 800 crew have finally been allowed off a cruise ship in Australia which had been refused permission to berth due to an outbreak of swine flu on board.

Three crew members and up to five passengers aboard P&O’s Pacific Dawn came down with the swine flu virus, prompting the cancellation of scheduled stops. The owner of Brisbane’s Portside cruise terminal refused to allow the ship to berth, forcing Queensland’s government to invoke emergency powers.

Another ship, the Dawn Princess, was asked not to disembark any passengers in New Caledonia, and instead was asked to send swab samples ashore for testing. The Dawn Princess is now returning to Sydney, where the Pacific Dawn is currently berthed following a ‘rigorous cleaning and sanitation programme.’