Carnival Cruise Line has changed almost a third of its South Pacific and international itineraries next year so it can focus on Australia and New Zealand.

In a move to support tourism in both countries, but which also makes it less likely cruises might be disrupted by COVID-19, the new itineraries will boost the Queensland economy by $16.7 million.

Australia and New Zealand have recorded low numbers of virus cases recently, and are expected to make vaccines available.

Jennifer Vandekreeke, VP and GM Australia, Carnival Cruise Line, said: “As Australians, we have become increasingly appreciative of our beautiful home and we are looking to explore our backyard more than ever. We are so incredibly lucky to have this beautiful part of the world as our playground and there’s no better way to explore the beauty of Australia than by sea”.

Nine of the new itineraries departing Sydney and Brisbane will now visit the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding areas, as well as Moreton Island.

Carnival will be making 30 new calls into the sunshine state giving guests the opportunity to explore. Cairns, Port Douglas, Airlie Beach and Moreton Island are a few of the destinations that will be included in the new itineraries.

Guests will have the opportunity to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and take in the tropical rainforests and exotic wildlife that make Northern Queensland a bucket list item.

Ms Vandekreeke also said:”Cruising offers travellers the chance to visit a number of fantastic destinations in one holiday while only unpacking once. You can slide your way to the Great Barrier reef and enjoy a cocktail en-route to Airlie Beach, without any hassles of cooking and cleaning.

“It’s also never been a more important time to support our local economy, so we’re extremely pleased to offer even more cruises across Australia next year.”