Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have cancelled all  sailings in Australia and New Zealand for the rest of the year.

Both lines have suspended all cruises departing Australia and New Zealand through to 31 December 2020.

The cancellation of local cruises goes beyond the Federal Government’s decision to ban all international cruise ships visiting Australian ports until 17 December.

This means that thousands of passengers who have booked holidays to spend Christmas and New Year at sea on board Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships, will now have to make alternative plans.

The line apologises to passengers for any inconvenience these cancellations may cause.

“The health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is our top priority and we are working closely with local health and government authorities towards this shared goal.

“Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have extended our suspension of sailings, beyond that of the Australian Government’s, to include sailings departing Australia and New Zealand on or before 31 December 2020.

“This is to allow guests booked on Christmas and New Year sailings to make alternative holiday arrangements.

“We will be reaching out to our guests and travel partners to share further details and address any questions or concerns. We are sorry for any inconvenience these cancellations may cause,” said a statement from Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises AUNZ.

On its website, passengers who cancel up to 48 hours before the sail date can get a future cruise credit valid for 12 months or more, provided bookings are made before 30 September 2020.

Globally,  Royal Caribbean Group has suspended all sailings through to 31 October 2020. The goal is to resume operations on 1 November 2020.

However, on its website, Royal Caribbean has suspended all European and transatlantic sailings through to the end of November 2020.

Construction of Odyssey of the Seas has been delayed as shipyards are closed. Sailings on Odyssey have been cancelled through to 17 April 2021. The revitalisation of Liberty of the Seas has also been postponed and Jewel of the Seas itinerary on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2021 has also been cancelled.