NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has come out in support of restarting local cruising after an exclusive Cruise Passenger readers poll showed huge support for the ships to return to Australia.
Mr Perrottet told a news conference the state government is “very open” to a return of cruise ships, and the Prime Minister Scott Morrison was “incredibly passionate” about that.
Perrottet revealed he has been talking with the federal government on getting cruises back. “If there is … a firm proposal on the table, we will take that to the cabinet committee,” he said. “We are very open to that and working with the federal government to bring back cruising.“
His comments came as a survey of Cruise Passenger’s 500,000 online and in print cruiser showed 90 per cent were demanding the Australian government resume domestic cruising now “provided crews are regularly tested, crew and passengers are fully vaccinated and vessels only sail in Australian waters.”
Only 3.5 per cent said they would not support this model, which has been championed by Cruise Lines International Association Australasia.
Over 93 per cent said the Federal Government should put more effort into bringing back domestic cruising. As Cruise Passenger has been reporting for months, Federal Government health officials have refused to examine or discuss plans to bring back foreign-flagged vessels.
Almost 95 per cent said they are already fully vaccinated, and 94 per cent said they believe it should be mandatory for crews and passengers to be fully vaccinated before ships can sail.
And how ready are our readers to cruise?
Over 53 per cent said they would cruise right now or in three months, and another 37 per cent said they were looking to book in 2022. Almost 70 per cent said they were looking at cruises for 2022, and 11 per cent said they were considering 2023.
There is no doubt what the key motivator is: almost half of our readers say a policy of fully vaccinated passengers and crew is vital before they will book. Hygiene and safety runs neck and neck with flexible booking policies.
Almost 60 per cent of our readers have Future Cruise Credits, and of those 76 per cent have yet to use them.
One third of our readers are looking for a line with smaller ships if they are considering switching – though it should be pointed out that just over half are sticking with their favourite cruise line.
One of the biggest areas of change is that of cruise destinations. For months, our readers tuck with Australia and New Zealand. But now, Europe, America and Asia are running at 16 per cent and 10 per cent.