The devastating Cyclone Debbie has destroyed much of north Queensland and many popular holiday destinations like Airlie Beach are left in ruins.
Cruise Passenger is on the Pacific Dawn which scheduled to call at Airlie Beach on Thursday. But on Tuesday afternoon before the newly refurbished ship departed, Captain Alan Dockery informed passengers for their safety and comfort that it would be a “cruise to nowhere”.
In a letter to the guests on the Pacific Dawn, Hotel Director Andrew Spencer wrote, “All indications are that the cyclone will become an intense low that will track back towards the Queensland coast. Coastal areas off much of Queensland will be affected by strong winds, rain and heavy seas which will make cruise conditions uncomfortable.
“It is now clear that Airlie Beach, which has borne the brunt of Cyclone Debbie, would not have been able to welcome cruise visitors on Thursday. Our thoughts and prayers are naturally with the local community and all the communities are dealing with the aftermath of such extreme weather.”
Captain Dockery of the Pacific Dawn said the conditions in Airlie Beach were so dire that cruise ships are unable to provide humanitarian aid.
He even explored the idea of sailing to Lord Howe Island but conditions would be too rough on the return leg for passengers.
Other lines like Azamara Club Cruises rerouted the Azamara Journey which was scheduled to call at Airlie Beach on Tuesday.