Cruise companies express further disappointment with the Australian government’s inaction over the return to cruising. P&O Australia and CCL-Carnival Cruise Lines (both subsidiaries managed by Carnival Australia) canceled a series of cruises in Australia until the end of May this current year.
RCI-Royal Caribbean already scratched its sailings until the wave season in September and there will only be winter voyages on local lines like Coral Expeditions.
The current ban on foreign-flagged vessels is due to end on February 17. However, few expect that it will not be extended as the federal government refuses to engage with the industry.
This week, travel agents lobbied MPs in a bid to rally support for the return to local itineraries. ~18,000 workers were left with no certainty over their livelihoods. Australia has lost $5+ billion while state and federal governments refuse to lay down plans for the cruise industry’s return.
Carnival Australia was forced to cancel 15+ sailings: P&O between April 23-May 28, while CCL canceled all voyages through May 29. P&O Australia has a 3-ship fleet - Pacific Adventure, Pacific Explorer, Pacific Encounter.
In a statement, P&O AU said:
“The pause period reflects that it will take several months for a ship to return to operation once government agencies and public health authorities have worked with the industry to agree protocols. Australia is one of the last remaining major cruise markets in the world without a return to service pathway."
Passengers whose bookings are affected by the latest pause will be notified. Options will be available either directly or via their appointed travel agent.
In a statement, the line said, that, regrettably, that meant they had made the hard decision to cancel the cruises and apologized for the disappointing news.
“Carnival will resume cruising when the time is right, and will do so with enhanced health measures developed in conjunction with government authorities, public health experts, local ports of call and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).”