The Federal Government announced it will be extending the cruise ban for an additional three months.

But the Cruise Lines International Association said it will continue to advocate for a carefully controlled resumption of cruising with extensive health measures in place.

“We need to work towards replacing the existing blanket suspension of cruise operations with an approval process that will allow cruise lines to progress a phased and tightly controlled resumption in 2021,” said Joel Katz, managing director of CLIA.

The original suspension period, which was due to expire on December 17, gave cruisers some hope that domestic cruising might resume by the beginning of next year.

The ban has been in place since March 18 and was introduced under the same biosecurity laws which have also restricted international flights into Australia.

The Cruise Lines International Association, earlier this month, confirmed that it would impose compulsory COVID-19 tests for guests and crew before boarding ships. It said it would also reduce passenger capacity, conduct daily health monitoring and temperature checks for all passengers onboard.

Mr Katz said: “Cruising can progress a responsible restart domestically within Australia, using ships and crew that have gone through all required quarantine procedures.

“Ships and crew would then remain within the Australian safe-zone or bubble, offering local cruising to locals only, within Australia, until international borders reopen.”

P&O Cruises Australia is one of the first scheduled to restart its itineraries with the first sailing scheduled for March 17, 2021. The cruise onboard the Pacific Explorer is set to depart Adelaide on a four-night voyage.