P&O Cruises Australia has cancelled further sailings until mid-April 2022.
The extension of the government’s cruise ban in Australia marks two years since the line has sailed Down Under.
Cruises departing from March 3 till April 16, 2022 from Sydney and Brisbane will be cancelled and this also marks the 23rd cruise cancellation announcement since the pandemic.
President of P&O Cruises Australia Sture Myrmell said that during this entire period guests had displayed incredible patience and loyalty to P&O and cruising.
“However, as we approach the two-year mark in our rolling pause in operations, it is understandable that our guests will be very disappointed and frustrated that there is still no agreed restart plan for cruising in Australia,” Mr Myrmell said.
“Federal and state governments are yet to outline their requirements for restart despite the nation’s high vaccination rate, the cruise industry’s comprehensive health protocols, vaccination policies for guests and crew and the successful resumption of cruising in other international markets.
“Our loyal guests, travel agents and many suppliers whose businesses depend on cruising along with thousands of jobs are simply looking for certainty so that they can plan for the future. Reaching this two-year anniversary is discouraging for so many of them.”
Late last week, the Federal Government extended Australia’s cruise ban by another two months.
“After an absence of two years, it will take us several months and significant cost to manage the complex logistics necessary to return a ship to service before sailing back to Australian waters,” Mr Myrmell said.
“This includes engaging our crew and re-training them to meet new operating protocols when they are known as well as re-stocking the ship with local fresh produce and refreshing onboard guest service operations that have also been on-hold for such a long time.
“It is a big task and we need to understand the operating environment before we begin the process of returning. To date, no government authority, federal or state, has provided feedback on the industry’s proposed operational guidelines to enable an informed decision on bringing our ships back to Australia.”