Originally set to be the star of Brisbane’s new cruise terminal and part of a two-vessel “fun ship” fleet, Carnival Spirit won’t be back Down Under for at least another 18 months.

Carnival Spirit has this week been confirmed to sail six and eight day itineraries from Miami until April 8, 2023, after which it will then move on to the Panama Canal, before arriving in Seattle at the start of May for another season of Alaskan cruising. This season will run until September 2023, meaning the earliest Australian’s could expect Spirit to return is late 2023 or early 2024.

However, even this doesn’t look promising with a user of a Cruise Critic forum posting that his February 2024 itinerary from Brisbane to Cairns has disappeared off the Carnival website.

Brisbane’s new $177 million cruise terminal was an early casualty of the pandemic cruise pause.  But Carnival Spirit was due to be a star player. The terminal has yet to open.

Will there be a replacement? Carnival Australia has been contacted for comment, but so far has not replied.

Carnival Splendor, the line’s newest ship, is still listed with sailings from Sydney in October 2022. Carnival Spirit, on the other hand, could not be accessed on the Australia website on Thursday. Nor could departures from Brisbane.

A statement from the line put out when Spirit was first redeployed said: ‘Carnival Cruise Line looks forward to resuming guest operations in Australia when government officials can provide clarity…details for a two-ship return to Australia will be announced when they are confirmed.’

Quantum of the seas
Quantum of the seas

Royal Caribbean is deploying Quantum of the Seas to Brisbane later this year – one of the line’s newest ships with plenty of new offerings to please the market.

Elsewhere, Carnival Elation will be continuing to operate four and five-day cruises out of Jacksonville Florida, with 2024 bookings to open soon.

Carnival Freedom will be sailing out of Port Canaveral in Florida with four and five-day sailings, with itineraries soon to be bookable through to April 29, 2023.

If you have been affected by ship changes, Carnival will automatically swap your reservation to the new ship assignment, and bookings will not be open for the cruises until this process is complete. 

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line said: “We are very happy with the positive reception this redeployment plan has already generated from our guests and travel advisor partners.

In combination with our successful restart, new ship assignments are creating excitement as we build momentum for a successful 2022 and beyond.”

More info: carnival.com.au