An aerial view shows smoke bellowing above the crater of Whakaari, also known as White Island, volcano as it erupts in New Zealand, December 9, 2019, in this image obtained via social media. GNS Science via REUTERS
(Reuters) – Some of the tourists on New Zealand’s White Island during Monday’s volcano eruption were passengers on a cruise ship visiting the area, cruise line officials say.
The ship, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, is in port in Tauranga, a coastal city about 90 km (56 miles) from White Island.
The cruise company’s website says the ship has gross registered tonnage of 168,000 and is 1,138-ft (347-m) -long, or slightly longer than a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy.
It has a theater, 21 restaurants, several pools, a casino and high-end retail outlets including Cartier, Michael Kors and Kate Spade.
Built in Germany, it took its first voyage in 2016. It has 16 decks, all but two of which are for passengers, and can accommodate as many as 4,905 guests. It has a crew of about 1,500.
Refinitiv Eikon data shows the Ovation of the Seas left Sydney on Dec. 4 and stopped near Russell and Auckland, on New Zealand’s North Island, before arriving in Tauranga on Dec. 8.
Royal Caribbean’s website advertises its New Zealand cruises as “epic adventures”.
The site says, “From jaw-dropping fjords to dramatic volcanoes and peaceful lakes, New Zealand packs outdoor thrills for explorers of all stripes.”
(This story clarifies deck usage in paragraph 5.)
Reporting by Gerry Doyle; Editing by Clarence Fernandez