The Northern Territory will now be allowing expedition cruise ships of up to 350 passengers and crew members to set sail among its waters. 

This is a large increase on the previous cap for expedition cruising, which only allowed 150 passengers and crew members which will mean lines like Ponant and Silversea will be able to sail in the region. 

Ponant Chair Asia-Pacific Sarina Bratton commented that it’s the perfect time for the federal government to “immediately adjust the declaration under the Biosecurity Act to allow our operations in Australian waters to commence.”

The Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade previously told Cruise Passenger: “Since April 2021 the Northern Territory has had a framework in place that allows for a staged resumption of cruising, and is informed by public health.”

“The next stage in returning cruising in the NT will be to further lift the cap on the number of persons able to cruise and this is anticipated for the 2022 season. Unrestricted cruising in the Territory will recommence once the public health emergency is no longer in place.”

“Cruising is an important sector for the Northern Territory, both the home porting of expedition vessels and the larger cruise ships which visit during the quieter summer months.

We look forward to welcoming cruise ships and passengers back to the Northern Territory.”

This means we can expect to see this cap continue to rise, and once the cruise ban is lifted, the state has a framework in place to resume unrestricted cruising.