Pamela Connellan


Massive news hints at when cruising may resume for Aussies

Massive news hints at when cruising may resume for Aussies

Anyone who’s keen to go cruising again may be tempted by the new season of domestic trips from Sydney, proposed by the second-largest cruise liner in the world, Royal Caribbean International.

A luxury cruise liner is taking a punt on Australians getting vaccinated by summer and officials allowing their ships to set sail.

The cruise liner has announced a new season of domestic sailings for those who are vaccinated - including trips to places like: Hobart, Kangaroo Island, Airlie Beach and Port Douglas.

Foreign-flagged cruise ships have been banned from entering Australian waters since March 2020 and the restriction is not due to lift until September.

At this stage, there are no guarantees the ban will be lifted at that time.

But Royal Caribbean is expecting one of its vessels to set sail from Sydney between December and March.

Industry spokesman, Joel Katz, said the Australian economy has lost more than $6 billion since cruising was suspended and this has jeopardised more than 18,000 local jobs.

Katz said he’s concerned by Australia’s lack of progress on resuming cruises and he stated: “The cruise industry has done an enormous amount of work to implement extensive new health protocols globally, but Australia is now the only major cruise destination in the world where there is no progress towards their adoption.”

Last year, an inquiry found New South Wales health authorities made serious mistakes in their handling of the Ruby Princess, after the ship was linked to 663 Covid-19 infections and 28 deaths.

Despite signs of a major COVID-19 outbreak on board the Ruby Princess, thousands of passengers were allowed to disembark and continue on their travels, leading to further outbreaks.

Image: Getty Images

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