Pacific Adventure, part of the P&O Cruises Australia fleet, was sent packing by officials after it was found to have concerning levels of organisms and “biofouling” on the hull.
Janine Sheriff and Kyle Risk, a couple from Sydney, Australia, said they were “heartbroken” after the incident and has been ready to meet their family and friends at the film set in Matamata on New Zealand’s North Island, reports ABC.
“The plan was to get off the boat, go straight to Hobbiton, have our wedding, then head straight back to the boat for the rest of the honeymoon,” Ms Sheriff said.
The pair only decided to get married in New Zealand after they booked their cruise.
“Kyle is a massive Lord of the Rings fan and when we found we were going there, we jokingly mentioned they do a wedding package.”
"His face just absolutely lit up like it was the greatest thing ever discovered. So we seriously started planning the wedding, we took the time off from work, we had our nearest and dearest friends and family all co-ordinate to be in New Zealand at this exact time.”
Mr Risk said he was “furious” after he saw Janine’s face after getting the news. I was ready to explode.
“I got a selfie from our family and friends at the site in Hobbiton we should have been on about 20 minutes before we had to turn around.
“It would have meant a lot as it was a beautiful setting.”
Ms Sherriff added: “I adore this man, I was so excited, so ready to be able to officially call him my husband, I am heartbroken this day has been taken away from me.”
The Independent has contacted P&O Cruises Australia for comment. After being denied entry to New Zealand, the ship made its way to Tasmania.
The couple accepted complimentary tickets to fly back to Sydney and got married there, and have also accepted a refund of half their cruise fare.
In a statement to ABC, the cruise line said: “Due to New Zealand’s strict biosecurity requirements, the ship left Sydney on Monday for hull cleaning off the Bay of Plenty, however the weather did not allow this to happen, so we apologise that the itinerary had to be amended.”
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