Unauthorized call expels French luxury cruise vessel

 Monday, November 20, 2017 


L’AUSTRALLuxury cruise liner ‘L’AUSTRAL that had been carrying a large number of travellers on board was expelled from the waters of Banyak Islands that is located in northwest Sumatra, Indian Ocean after she was noticed by regional inhabitants on 16th November that was anchored off Asok Island.


Thereafter it started engaging in recreational activities.


The ship was not authorized to make a call to their islands and this call was not listed in their itinerary.


Then the cruise vessel was requested to leave without delay. The nationalities of those travellers on board the cruise vessel is yet to be identified.


But then most of them were Europeans and Australians.


As of 2130 UTC November 18 that is the latest AIS position she was cruising in Indian Ocean in southeast direction towards Sunda Strait, port of destination and ETA.


It is actually a strange coincidence for a luxury cruise ship of a reputed cruise operator.


Luxury cruise ship L’AUSTRAL, IMO 9502518, GT 10700 that was built in 2011, flag France, operator Compagnie du Ponant with a capacity of 264 passengers and 136 crew members.


On 18 November 2017, L’Austral, a cruise ship belonging to French cruise company PONANT sailing in the Banyak archipelago in Indonesia, altered course to stop in Palau Asok. Both the Captain and the expedition leader made this choice in order to offer passengers a more interesting programme than the one initially scheduled. It was a regular decision taken in strict accordance to maritime rules.


The ship received prior formal written authorisation from the port agent responsible for the area and the stopover went smoothly and without incident.


During the call local authorities paid two routine visits to L’Austral. No problems were identified. No expulsion measure was taken against the ship. Passengers’ disembarkations and embarkations were organised in accordance with the company’s
procedures and timing.

The ship wasn’t docked but anchored at sea.

L’Austral continued sailing as planned in the Indonesian territorial waters without any troubles from the local authorities.


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