Owner of Ovation of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, has said the ship will stay in port overnight.
“We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today,” it said in a statement. “We do not have any additional details to share at this time.
“Ovation of the Seas will remain overnight until we learn more about the situation. We will offer all possible assistance to our guests and local authorities. Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”
30 to 38 cruise ship passengers on island
Breaking from Eleanor Ainge Roy:
Kevin O’Sullivan, the chief executive officer of the New Zealand Cruise Association confirmed that a tour party of 30 to 38 people from cruise ship Ovation of the Seas were on a tour of White Island today, and had not returned.
He said the passengers names and nationalities were now being handed to police, and the Ovation of the Seas would stay docked in Tauranga at least overnight.
“I know the cruise ship will be able to compile a list of the tour party and they will be handing that to New Zealand police, and the police will then make a statement on the nationalities,” he said.
“Our hope of course is they will be recovered unharmed and returned back to the ship.”