The reason is the tight travel restrictions that are still in place and no fixed date from the Federal Government of Australia for when cruising can restart.
Scott Morrison (Australia's Prime Minister) indicated the restart of international travel for states which reach 80% double dose vaccination, which could happen as soon as November for ACT (Australian Capital Territory), NSW (New South Wales) and Victoria, but cruise companies have still no updates on when the boats can return to Australia.
Officially, cruises are banned until at least December 18, 2021, as part of the country's ongoing travel ban which has been in place since March 2020.
These reasons made RCI-Royal Caribbean International cancel the Ovation of the Seas 2021-2022 summer season from Sydney.
The cruise company released the following statement:
"A clear pathway for the return of foreign-flagged ships and cruising, in general, is yet to be established by governments in Australia. Due to this, Royal Caribbean has made the decision to cancel all sailings on Ovation of the Seas from Sydney, 13 Dec. 2021 through 31 March 2022. We know many of our guests look forward to a return to cruising, and we regret the inconvenience this may cause. Booked guests and travel partners impacted will be contacted with further details.
"As Australia opens up, we are committed to progressing the proactive conversations with federal and state governments on recommencing cruising in Australia and hope to provide an update soon."
The Quantum-class Ovation of the Seas was scheduled to sail on 10-night domestic cruises from December 13, 2021, through March 31, 2022. The ship is slated to return to Alaska in 2022, with homeporting in Vancouver (BC Canada).