Royal Caribbean said it is grieving for the tragic loss of life in the White Island eruption as police name nine people still missing.
The New Zealand police have named seven Australians and two New Zealanders who they are still searching for after the Whakaari (White Island) eruption on 9 December.
They are Gavin Dallow, Jessica Richards, Krystal Browitt, Richard Elzer, Zoe Hosking, Karla Matthews and Julie Richards from Australia; and Tipene Maangi and Hayden Inman from New Zealand.
Out of 50 people on the island when the eruption happened, at least five have died. There were 24 people from Australia, two from China, four from Germany, one from Malaysia, five from New Zealand, nine from the US and two British women on the privately owned island volcano.
White Island’s climate is currently “too dangerous” for emergency services to return, police say, but they are ready to go as soon as the risk is reduced.
GNS, New Zealand’s geoscience and isotope research service, said the possibility of a further eruption is imminent and significant with volcanic activity increasing.
Disaster victim identification specialists are waiting to be deployed in Whakatane and an Australian Defence aircraft has been sent to transport a number of the injured.
An exploratory drone has now flown four times over the island, but police say it is still analysing the footage it collected.
An investigation into the incident is under way, but police have stressed it is too early to confirm if it will be criminal in nature.
Royal Caribbean has confirmed that a number of its passengers have been caught up in the eruption. They were on a White Island shore excursion when it happened and the ship, Ovation of the Seas, was moored in Tauranga.
After remaining for two nights to support its passengers, the ship departed at 6.45am on 11 December.
A spokesperson from Royal Caribbean said: “We grieve this tragic loss. We will to continue to offer our support and services to the families during this difficult time.”