The Northern Territory’s Chief Health Officer has announced “post-emergency” directives for cruise ships visiting the Northern Territory, which include a lifting of the previous cap of 350 passengers.

Cruise Lines International Association’s local Manager Director Joel Katz told Cruise Weekly that this indicates a big step forward for NT and Australian cruising.

“Expedition cruise lines have been operating successfully in the NT for many months, and the decision to open up to larger ships is a sign of confidence in the health protocols cruise lines have in place.

“Along with the measures established in other states, the NT’s announcement means that all Australian coastal states and territories have now laid out their pathway to a responsible revival of cruise tourism as we approach the summer season ahead.”

However, some rules will still apply such as the necessity of a health practitioner on board each vessel and ships will still need to visit via Port Darwin as their first port.

If you become a close contact on board you will still be subject to quarantine requirements when on the vessel, but will be free to explore during shore excursions.

The Kimberley season has been going strong since Ponant began sailing on April 28.